THE PIONEER WOMEN OF THE VINLAND SAGAS
Víðförul – a widely travelled woman – is a podcast series about the women of the Vinland sagas, pioneers who crossed the sea to explore and settle new lands. Aud ‘the Deep-Minded’ Ketilsdóttir, the protagonist of the first chapter of The Saga of Eric the Red, lived through a time of upheaval, when the Vikings sailed from Scandinavia across the Atlantic, founding colonies everywhere they went. Following in our heroine’s footsteps, the journey takes us from Dublin and the Hebrides to Scotland and Orkney, the Faroe Islands and Iceland, where Aud becomes one of the country’s few independent female settlers. Two generations later, Gudríd Thorbjarnardóttir and Freydís Eiríksdóttir live in the Norse colony in Greenland, and after surviving privation and a pandemic, they join Viking expeditions to North America, or Vinland, as it is called in medieval Icelandic sagas. In Vinland, they have fascinating encounters – both friendly and hostile – with Amerindians, but events take a shocking turn in The Saga of the Greenlanders when Freydís becomes a mass murderer. In this podcast series, we will learn about these women’s historical background and some of the realities of life in the Viking Age. We will also think about the stories in the wider context of Norse myths and legends, saga literature and Icelandic folklore.
Listen to or watch the podcast.
Find the texts of The Saga of Eric the Red and The Saga of the Greenlanders.
Find out more about the sagas.