That dramatic era, during which the Vikings spread terror and dismay all over Europe and reached the corners of the known world, from North America in the west to Byzantium in the east, has been described in many thrilling, if romanticised, accounts. Too often, the living people behind the popular picture of the wolves from the sea have been neglected.
Who were these people? What drove them to leave their homelands in their longships and venture out into the open seas in search of plunder, riches, and land? These and other questions about the fair-haired Vikings are answered in this informative and fascinating account of the people from the North, who left their mark on history during the few hundred years of their ascendancy.
All over Europe, place-names exist today which come directly from the Vikings. Finds of weapons, coins, ships, and entire settlements have revealed how the Norsemen lived, fought, amused themselves, built ships, and navigated to the far-off shores of North America.
The 150 magnificent illustrations — half of them in full colour — are based on archaeological finds and the painstaking research of experts. They are, therefore, accurate in every detail, and reveal, for example, how a Viking ship was built, what clothes the Vikings wore; what a typical farm looked like, and how the Vikings attacked Lindisfarne.