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Old Norse texts offer many different ideas about what it is to be female, presenting women who occupy diverse social and economic positions or who have varying racial origins. Covering a much wider range of texts than have previous studies, this book presents a comprehensive and ground-breaking analysis of women in Old Norse literature. Raising new, probing questions, generated by theoretical insights from comparative studies, and from feminist, queer, monster and speech act theory, Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir explores the many ways in which medieval Icelandic sagas construct the relationship between women and power. Illuminating the preoccupations, desires, and anxieties of the sagas' authors and audiences, this book offers excitingly fresh perspectives on how Icelandic prose genres mediate medieval attitudes to women, power, social organization, and ideal human behavior.

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