Víglundar saga: a new edition based on UW-Madison Libraries Special Collections MS 140

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Víglundar saga is one of the latest of the Icelandic family sagas (Íslendinga sögur), but its style is heavily influenced by the chivalric sagas (riddarasögur) such as Tristrams saga. It tells the story of the love between Víglund and Ketilríð, and their desire to marry over the objections of her family.

The text of this edition comes from a late eighteenth-century paper manuscript from the Chester H. Thordarson Collection in Memorial Library’s Special Collections (MS 140), and is thought to be in the hand of Jón Ólafsson of Svefneyjar (1731-1811), although this has not been confirmed. Its text is very close to that of AM 553d 4to, and may therefore be related other paper manuscripts from the 17th and 18th centuries tha descend ultimately from AM 160 fol. The manuscript was transcribed by Peter Gorman of the UW Digital Collections Center, and the text was corrected and normalized by Natalie Van Deusen from the UW-Madison Department of Scandinavian Studies.

The manuscript is known to have been in the collection of Bolle Willum Luxdorph (1716-1788), a noted Danish civil servant and book collector. It was later owned by the Old English scholar Anna Gurney (1795–1857), and still later by the Icelandic businessman and collector Hjörtur Þórðarson (Chester Thordarson) (1867-1945), whose collection was acquired by Memorial Library in 1946.