Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fall Reading 2016 If You Were Me and Lived in...Viking Europe


Carole P. Roman continues to add to her new series on different historical periods throughout the world. I just finished the book on Viking Europe. As usual, there are tons of facts and details, including the clothing, foods, and recreation enjoyed by the people of the Vikings around 870 A.D. Carole has chosen the family of a wealthy trader (of the Jarl class), as her example, explaining the home they would have lived in, the social customs, and the education the children would receive. But she also talks about the other social classes, the Carls who were peasants and farmers, and the Thralls who were usually captured in raids and used for hard labor.

Carole explains that there was no standing army, so that men like the father of the family she describes were called on to support the king when he needed soldiers and were rewarded for their service. She also shares how the people were identified by different names depending on the circumstances. We call those who were exploring and trading on their ships, Vikings. If they were settled in villages and farms, we refer to them as Scandinavians. And if they had settled in foreign lands, then they are called Norsemen. The practice of marrying daughters off at the age of 15 will raise some eyebrows, and so will the fact that women had no vote and could not be a chief.

At the back of the book there is a section which gives brief descriptions of famous people such as Erik the Red, Leif Erikson, Cnut the Great, and Emma of Normandy. And there is a glossary of terms to help out readers who may not have encountered terms like wimple, rune, or mantle.

A nice introduction to young readers who are curious about the past and important time periods and people. This series gives a broad overview of each period and location, and enough specifics to answer basic questions while also giving facts that can lead to further research.

I received a copy of the book from the author for review purposes.

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