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Eric Brighteyes by H. Rider Haggard

Eric Brighteyes (1891)

by H. Rider Haggard

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Series: Eric Brighteyes

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202494,849 (3.41)5
A gripping tale of betrayal, blood-gorged blades, and the pursuit of heart's desire, Eric Brighteyes follows the adventures of a young man raised on Coldback farm-a lonely place to be found where the Westman Isles rise from the sea.Plagued by misfortune, the golden-haired youth finds himself outlawed and exiled-even as he wins Whitefire, the legendary sword of King Odin. Eric struggles against treachery to fight his way back to his home and to the two women whose lives are fatefully intertwined with his: Gudruda the Fair, and Swanwild the Fatherless.… (more)



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English (3)  French (1)  All languages (4)
Showing 3 of 3
I love the illustrations and the story might be interesting but I'm going to have to accept that I don't like Haggard's writing style. He tried too hard to make the story read like a classic Norse epic and the language comes off both repetitive and forced. If you want to read a good Norse epic, read Beowolf.

I do have to give the book a 5 out of 5 for Lancelot Speed's illustrations. I would love to see one of the original editions. Take for example: Publisher: London: Longmans, Green, and Co., Date Published: 1891 Description: Octavo, pp. [1-2] [i-v] vi [vii] viii-x [xi] xii [xiii] xiv [1] 2-319 [320: blank] [note: blank leaf precedes half title leaf] + 16-page publisher's catalogue dated "12/90" on page 16 inserted at rear, sixteen inserted plates plus other illustrations in the text by Lancelot Speed, original blue cloth over bevel-edged boards, front and spine panels stamped in gold, black coated endpapers. First edition. 10, 000 copies printed. Barron (ed), Fantasy Literature 2-72.

Unfortunately these retail at $75 and up. Oh well. :) ( )
  pussreboots | Sep 21, 2014 |
Apparently this was one of two books that Tolkien claimed as influencing The Lord of the Rings--and I can easily see that, as Haggard tries to create a work in the spirit, and somewhat in the style, of the old Norse legends. I'm not going to claim that Haggard even at his best is the same order of classic as the best by Charles Dickens, the Brontes, George Eliot or Thomas Hardy. But like fellow Victorians Arthur Conan Doyle or Robert Louis Stevenson or Rudyard Kipling, Haggard really could spin a good yarn, and the fantasy genre in general owes him a great debt. Ten of his books are on my bookshelves. I gobbled those up in my teens and most I remember very, very well even decades later. My favorite of his novels involve Ayesha, known as She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, especially the book Wisdom's Daughter. But, with perhaps the exception of The World's Desire, Haggard's tale of Odysseus, this is my second favorite of the Haggard books I've read and if Ayesha is the most formidable and unforgettable of Haggard heroines, Eric for me is his most memorable hero, even over the more famous Allan Quartermain of King Solomon's Mines. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Oct 24, 2012 |
The best Viking novel ever written, better then E.R.R. Eddissons, Styrbiorn the Strong
  ocianain | Mar 29, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
H. Rider Haggardprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barr, GeorgeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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You have graciously conveyed to me the intelligence that during the weary weeks spent far from his home--in alternate hope and fear, in suffering and mortal trail--a Prince whose memory all men must reverence, the Emperor Frederick, found pleasure in the reading of my stories: that 'they interested and fascinated him.'

While the world was watching daily at the bedside of your Majesty's Imperial husband, while many were endeavoring to learn courage in our supremest need from the spectacle of that heroic patience, a distant writer little knew that it had been his fortune to bring to such a sufferer an hour's forgetfulness of sorrow and pain.

This knowledge, to an author, is far dearer than any praise, and it is in gratitude that, with your Majesty's permission, I venture to dedicate to you the tale of Eric Brighteyes.

The late Emperor, at heart a lover of peace, though by duty a soldier of soldiers, might perhaps have cared to interest himself in a warrior of long ago, a hero of our Northern stock, whose days were spent in strife, and whose latest desire was Rest. But it may not be; like the Golden Eric of this Saga, and after a nobler fashion, he has passed through the Hundred Gates into the Valhalla of Renown.

To you then, Madam, I dedicate this book, a token, however slight and unworthy, of profound respect and sympathy.
I am, Madam,

Your Majesty's most obedient servant,


November 27, 1889.

To H.I.M. Victoria, Empress Frederick of Germany
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There lived a man in the south, before Thangbrand, Wilibald's son, preached the White Christ in Iceland.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100283, 1400111021

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