Viking The Norse warrior's (unofficial) manual

John Haywood, 1956-

Book - 2013

Vikings were the lords of the northern seas. Fame, glory and wealth awaited those who braved storms and enemy spears to plunder far and wide in foreign lands. Combining the latest archaeological discoveries with modern-day reconstructions and tales from the Norse sagas, this book paints a vivid picture of what it was like to be a Viking warrior.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 948.02/Haywood Checked In
London : Thames & Hudson 2013.
Physical Description
208 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps ; 21 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Main Author
John Haywood, 1956- (-)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Haywood's newest (after Chronicles of the Ancient World) is a whimsical and informative how-to guide to becoming and living the life of a fearsome Scandinavian raider. The year is 991 C.E., and the glory of Olaf Tryggvason's victory at the battle of Maldon in England this past summer has you, the reader, interested in becoming a Viking. If you are healthy and can handle a weapon, regardless of your class (save slaves), there is some chance that you'll be chosen to join a ship captain on his raids; women need not apply. Haywood offers latent marauders advice on everything from weapons to life onboard a longship and on campaign. Battle tips are to be expected, but surveys of countries just itching to be raided, types of treasure, and historical asides on cultures contemporaneous with the Vikings are added bonuses. The author describes potential battle wounds and field treatment options (or the lack of same) in graphic detail, but for the most part he avoids rape and torture. Text and captions can be repetitious, and although there is a glossary, there's no pronunciation guide—good luck with "hirð." Nevertheless, anyone hoping to go a-Viking will find this manual to be fun and revealing. 135 illus., 29 in color. (June) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Describes how to attain fame, wealth and glory as 10th century Viking, including how to act at a feast, how to choose the proper weapons and the best armor and how to plunder and pillage.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

This is a somewhat whimsical but at the same time highly informative primer on the many facets of life as a Norse Viking in the 10th century. The book presents its material literally as an extended job-brochure, providing a survey of "Viking life" in details proper to any conventionally scholarly treatment. These includes the origins of the Vikings, political economy in the lands and seas where they lived, the anatomy of a raid and what made certain places more vulnerable than others, the mythology and technology of battle, great warriors to know and remember, the Viking's advanced seamanship and ship-building, kinship structures, mythology, death and more. Two colorful sections of plates of life-sized replicas and re-enactors appear along with dozens of black and white stock photos embedded alongside text. The text remains "in character" as a job-brochure from beginning to end. John Haywood is a research fellow at University of Lancaster and a widely published scholar of medieval history. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Review by Publisher Summary 3

How to join a Viking war bandWhat to look for in a good Viking leaderHow to behave at a feastHow to choose the right weapons and armorHow to plunder a monastery and ransom a monkHow to navigate at sea

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Combines the latest research and discoveries with a humorous eye to take us inside the Viking world