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Eric Brighteyes [Paperback]

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Item description for Eric Brighteyes by H. Rider Haggard...

This deftly crafted Viking tale depicts the terror, tragedy and vanity of life. The ill fated lovers, Eric and "Gudruda the Fair," fall victim to the jealous Swanhild's sorcery.
Eric and his 'thrall' must overcome treachery, bloodthirsty foes, the open sea and blizzards as he battles to win his beloved Gudruda. Will the star-crossed lovers triumph over the fate of the Norns and the spite of Swanhild?



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Item Specifications...


Pages   636
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.21" Width: 6.14" Height: 1.34"
Weight:   1.93 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 17, 2007
Publisher   Tutis Digital Publishing Pvt. Ltd.
ISBN  818456354X  
ISBN13  9788184563542  


Availability  0 units.


More About H. Rider Haggard


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Sir Henry Rider Haggard (1856-1925) was a prolific English writer, who published colorful novels set in unknown regions and lost kingdoms of Africa, or some other corner of the world: Iceland, Constantinople, Mexico, Ancient Egypt. Haggard's best-known work is the romantic adventure tale KING SOLOMON'S MINES (1885), which was inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson' s famous Treasure Island.

H. Rider Haggard was born in 1856 and died in 1925.

H. Rider Haggard has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Modern Library Classics (Paperback)
  2. Oxford World's Classics (Paperback)
  3. Penguin Classics
  4. Puffin Classics


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Action & Adventure



Reviews - What do customers think about Eric Brighteyes?

Tolkien liked it!  Nov 16, 2006
See the anecdote, recorded in Douglas Anderson's TALES BEFORE TOLKIEN, that states that Tolkien praised this.
 
A wonderful viking adventure!  Aug 4, 2000
The author of numerous romance-adventures in the 19th century tradition, Haggard turned his hand, at least once, to the older saga tradition of the northern peoples. The result may well have been his best work. Skillfully crafted, this tale proceeds at breakneck pace to unfold the saga-like adventures of the stout Icelandic yeoman, Eric Thorgrimurs' son (surnamed 'Brighteyes' for his most notable trait), as he struggles to win the hand of his beloved, Gudruda the Fair, despite the vigorous opposition of her half-sister, Swanhild the Fatherless (who seeks Eric for her own). Caught between these two beautiful women and faced with the need to overcome the opposition of Gudruda's father, Asmund the Priest (not the Christian sort) and his son, the greedy Bjorn (who would prefer to marry his sister off to a wealthy chieftain in lieu of a liaison with the farmer's son Eric), our hero must prove himself worthy of his destined bride while dodging the snares of those who would unman him. Conspiring with her mysterious mother, Groa the witchwife, Swanhild arranges to have Ospakar Blacktooth, a northern chieftain from Swinefells, pay Asmund's household a visit in order to see and woo Gudruda for himself. This Ospakar and Eric become immediate foes for Ospakar is as ugly and vile as Eric is handsome and honorable. And the tale only accelerates from here. From death-defying feats of derring-do to duels between deadly foemen to treachery and mayhem in blinding blizzards and on the high seas, this is an adventure which, once having grabbed you, will not let you go. Written in an archaic prose, mirroring the old nineteenth century translations of the original Icelandic sagas, and intended to simulate the voice of the old sagas themselves, the power of this narrative is compelling and unrelenting. And yet it is less exhausting than exhilirating as it unfolds the tale of Eric and the two women who loved him -- no matter what the cost. If the tale has a flaw at all it is that the characters are not real in any sense of that word but only larger-than-life actors who strut about upon the stage which Haggard has drawn for us here. At the same time the sensibility offered is one of pure and unmitigated adventure. But it's great fun and marvelous escapist fare. A must for lovers of Norse and viking times.

SWM
The King of Vinland's Saga
 
Rousing derring-do and romance in Icelandic Saga style  Nov 29, 1999
A must for all Haggard fans, "Eric Brighteyes" is strongly recommended to anyone who enjoys a great tale of heroic endeavour. Perhaps the fastest-paced of all Haggard's many novels, it races from one highspot to another with manly verve and vivid scene-setting. The stalwart Eric and his "thrall" Skallagrim fight back to back against a horde of foes, while two beautiful women vie for Eric's love. The eerie battle at sea is an exciting read in itself, to say nothing of all the rest. Eric is one of the most virile of Haggard's heroes and, like so many of them, is susceptible to earthly temptations and ambitions---unlike Haggard's too often impossibly spiritual females. The reader familiar with Haggard's favourite "archetypes" will recognize in Eric, Skallagrim, Gudruda the Fair, and the wicked Swanhilde the traits of a cast of characters immortalized under other names, in other times and places, in other titles of his famous canon. "Eric Brighteyes" is also distinguished by an interesting author's preface that furnishes some insight into Haggard's imaginative overlay of "high romance" and occult themes on what, in a writer of less lively invention, might have been just a simple adventure story. Both heroes and villains come on strong with splendid confrontational dialogue before coming to blows. A feast for escapists of all ages! Long may it remain in print.
 
A magnificent melding of saga and old style "romance".  Jun 4, 1997
The author of numerous romance-adventures in the 19th century tradition, Haggard turned his hand, at least once, to the older saga tradition of the northern peoples. The result may well have been his best work. Skillfully crafted, this tale proceeds at breakneck pace to unfold the saga-like adventures of the stout Icelandic yeoman, Eric Thorgrimurs' son (surnamed "Brighteyes" for his most notable trait), as he struggles to win the hand of his beloved, Gudruda the Fair, despite the vigorous opposition of her half-sister, Swanhild the Fatherless (who seeks Eric for her own). Caught between these two beautiful women and faced with the need to overcome the opposition of Gudruda's father, Asmund the Priest (not the Christian sort) and his son, the greedy Bjorn (who would prefer to marry his sister off to a wealthy chieftain in lieu of a liaison with the farmer's son Eric), our hero must prove himself worthy of his destined bride while dodging the snares of those who would unman him. Conspiring with her mysterious mother, Groa the witchwife, Swanhild arranges to have Ospakar Blacktooth, a northern chieftain from Swinefells, pay Asmund's household a visit in order to see and woo Gudruda for himself. This Ospakar and Eric become immediate foes for Ospakar is as ugly and vile as Eric is handsome and honorable. In an intial conflict between them, Eric outwrestles Ospakar, winning his magic sword from him, despite the evil workings of Groa to bring about Eric's defeat. In this manner, Eric at last wins over the reluctant Asmund, who now promises him his daughter. But in the process Eric incurs the jealousy of Bjorn who resents his successes as much as he does the possibility that this bright but impoverished hero will win his sister's hand. The lost sword proves a sore point for Ospakar as well who tries to regain it via a dastardly ambush, but Eric and his new found companion, Skallagrim Lambstail, a former berserker and thief who has himself been the victim of Ospakar's ill-doings, overcome the larger force arrayed against them, wounding Ospakar and killing some others to boot. As a result, Eric must go into exile as an outlaw for three years, after which he is to be free to return and marry Gudruda. But Swanhild, in a pique at how things have turned out, contrives to kill Gudruda. Discovered in this perfidy, she is married off against her will to a visiting Orkney Earl, Atli the Good, who is well on in years and sent off with him to the Orkneys. Eric again reveals his warlike talents in another ambush by Ospakar's minions, this time at sea, but is finally taken captive with Skallagrim due to the dastardliness of Eric's own first mate. Yet Eric is able to free himself when warned of the impending treachery of his captors by the sorcerous intervention of Swanhild who has continued to monitor his progress from her unhappy abode in Atli's hall. Eric goes on to a distinguished career in the service of the English King Edmund but refuses all of that king's urgings to remain with him at the royal court once his three year outlawry is up. Turning his back on the royal largesse (including a lovely royal bride), Eric takes ship to Iceland on a road which must take them past the Orkney Islands. Now Swanhild the witchwife of Atli, perceiving Eric's return raises a storm to overthrow his ship, beaching him on the very island where Atli has his hall. Atli is delighted at the arrival of such a heroic guest but Swanhild contrives to have Eric to herself while Atli and his men are away and she soon tempts and seduces this paragon among vikings, using a love draught of her own concoction. In the end, Eric is distraught to realize that he has betrayed his beloved Gudruda and flees from Swanhild's embrace -- but too late, for she has betrayed him to Atli in revenge for his desertion of her. And she has taken a clipping of Eric's fine golden hair to send to her half-sister, together with a token that only Eric could have had. Gudruda, on receiving this and on hearing the lying tale Swanhild has concocted to go with it, angrily vows to break her engagement to Eric and agrees to wed Ospakar instead. Eric thereafter arrives in Iceland, a scorned man (for having betrayed and finally killed Atli his host in the aftermath of his indiscretion with Swanhild) only to learn of Gudruda's plans to wed Ospakar. He makes his way to Asmund's hall (though that viking worthy has also now passed on to his reward) on the eve of the much heralded wedding and, in a fierce confrontation, reveals the truth of their betrayal to Gudruda. The result is more bloodshed including the death of the miscreant groom Ospakar and of Bjorn Asmundsson. But Swanhild is also present and with Ospakar's son Gizur she contrives to deny Eric and Gudruda their final happiness, even now. Gudruda dreams a dream of Odin the All-Father and in it he grants her one night of pleasure with her beloved before taking this hero for his own. Thereafter and with the momentary cessation of the killing, Eric and Gudruda wed. But in the morning they are attacked while still asleep, for Swanhild secretly guides Gizur into their bedchamber and directs his hand to the killing of Eric. But it is to Gudruda's fair head she guides the sword which Gizur holds and not to Eric's so that when Eric wakes he finds his beloved dead in his arms. Beside himself with grief, Eric buries his new bride and now Gizur leads his followers and the men whom Swanhild has brought with her from the Orkneys against Eric and Skallagrim. To make their final stand, these two flee together to the nearby heights. And there they turn to face their foes in a bloody scene worthy of the gotterdammerung itself. Here Eric and Skallagrim cut down their enemies in one last orgy of killing and vengeful recriminations and, in his own last dying moments, Eric seizes Gizur and plunges with him over the cliff to their common doom. In the end only Swanhild is left to supervise the funeral arrangements on board the viking ship she has selected for this purpose and to sing the death song, as she and the bodies of Eric and his faithful servant Skallagrim burn on a pyre of those men they have slain between them. Haggard wrote his tale with the romanticist's flair, making an artist's use of Shakespeare's English to evoke the antique flavor of these events, and giving full rein to his love for the occult -- though such rein is rarely encountered in the real sagas themselves. Nor are the sagas usually so tightly drawn as this, while they are frequently a great deal more realistic in their portrayal of people and the motives which drive them. If there is criticism to be levied here it's that the tale, itself, is much too pat and the characters, though sharply drawn, are not real folk in any normal sense of that word -- they are players only who never breathe the breath of real life, or even briefly fool us that they do, albeit they are larger than life actors with parts to play in a whopping good tale. By Stuart W. Mirsky (mirsky@ix.netcom.com).
 

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