A History of the Viking World
The definitive account of the Viking World by one of Britain’s best historians
The Northmen’s Fury tells the Viking story, from the first pinprick raids of the eighth century to the great armies that left their Scandinavian homelands to conquer larger parts of France, Britain and Ireland. It recounts the epic voyages that took them across the Atlantic to the icy fjords of Greenland and to North America over four centuries before Columbus and east to the great rivers of Russia and the riches of the Byzantine empire.
One summer’s day in 793, death arrived from the sea. The raiders who sacked the island monastery of Lindisfarne were the first Vikings, sea-borne attackers who brought two centuries of terror to northern Europe. Before long the sight of their dragon-prowed longships and the very name of Viking gave rise to fear and dread, so much so that monks were reputed to pray each night for delivery from ‘the Northmen’s Fury’. Yet for all their reputation as bloodthirsty warriors, the Vikings possessed a sophisticated culture that produced art of great beauty, literature of abiding power and kingdoms of surprising endurance.
The Northmen’s Fury describes how and why a region at the edge of Europe came to dominate and to terrorise much of the rest of the continent for nearly three centuries and how, in the end, the coming of Christianity and the growing power of kings tempered the Viking ferocity and stemmed the tide of raids. It relates the astonishing achievement of the Vikings in forging far-flung empires whose sinews were the sea and whose arteries were not roads but maritime trading routes.
The blood of the Vikings runs in millions of veins in Europe and the Americas and the tale of their conquests, explorations and achievements continues to inspire people around the world.
“It is quite a feat to write history this good... Everyone who visits the British Museum's Viking exhibition should go clutching a copy of this engaging and splendidly written book.”
Dan Jones, Sunday Times
“Parker has a traveller's eye for landscape and a storyteller's sense of events and character; The Northmen's Fury is probably the most lively and well-informed introduction to the subject available today.”
“Particularly fascinating... [Parker] proves expert at treading a delicate line between scholarship and his relish for the fantastical.”
Tom Holland, The Times
“This book is a treasury with treats galore. Lucid, comprehensive, it is a work of reference which deserves to become a classic.”
Historical Novel Society
“Perfectly timed for the forthcoming British Museum exhibition.”
“Philip Parker has encapsulated the Viking story in this book.”
“[An] energetic and intelligent guide to the Viking world.”
A.N. Wilson, Sunday Telegraph
“A detailed study that succeeds in conveying the impact of the Viking age... A fascinating read.”
Martin Arnold, Literary Review
Mail on Sunday