Fire and Iron (Paperback)

Critical Approaches to Njáls saga

By Richard F. Allen

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822984290, 272pp.

Publication Date: May 31, 1971

List Price: 27.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Written in Iceland by an unknown author about 1280, Njáls saga has been called the greatest work of vernacular prose fiction from the European Middle Ages. Allen's finely written and perceptive study is one of the first in English to offer a critical examination of the text.

About the Author

Richard F. Allen taught at the University of Oregon and the University of California and lives in Berkeley, California.

Praise For Fire and Iron: Critical Approaches to Njáls saga

“Mr. Allen’s lively and well-informed book will reward students of nearly any long form of medieval narrative. . . . [Allen succeeds] in making connections among scholarly and critical activities that have ordinarily gone their separate ways, uninformed by each other.”
—Comparative Literature

“What is especially gratifying in Allen’s over-all interpretation of  Njála is his willingness to consider those passages which are most clearly expressive of a Christian mind, e.g. the chapters describing the conversion of the Icelanders or the miracles surrounding the  Battle of Clontarf. . . . Allen shows convincingly that such episodes must be considered an important part of the structure.”

“This is a lucid and readable book and one which the scholar should find stimulating.”
—Modern Language Review