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Norwegian Life

AN ACCOUNT OF PAST AND CONTEMPORARY CONDITIONS AND PROGRESS IN NORWAY AND SWEDEN

Edited and Arranged by

ETHLYN T. CLOUGH

PREFACE

An excursion into Norwegian life has for the student all the charm of the traveler's real journey through the pleasant valleys of the Norse lands. Much of this charm is explained by the tenacity of the people to the homely virtues of honesty and thrift, to their customs which testify to their home loving character, and to their quaint costumes. It is a genuine delight to study and visit these lands, because they are the least, perhaps in Europe, affected by the leveling hand of cosmopolitan ideas. Go where you will, to England, about Germany, down into Italy, everywhere, the same monotonous sameness is growing more oppressive every year. But in Norway and Sweden there is still an originality, a type, if you please, that has resisted the growth of an artificial life, and gives to students a charm which is even more alluring than modern cities with their treasures and associations.

The student takes up Norwegian life as one of the subjects which has been comparatively little explored, and is, therefore replete with freshness and delight. This little book can not by any means more than lift the curtain to view the fields of historical and literary interest and the wondrous life lived in the deep fiords of Viking land. But its brief pages will have, at least, the merit of giving information on a subject about which only too little has been written. Taken in all, there are scarcely half a dozen recent books circulating in American literary channels on these interesting lands, and for one reason or another, most of these are unsuited for club people. There is an urgent call for a comprehensive book which will waste no time in non essentials, a book that can be read in a few sittings and yet will give a glimpse over this quaint and wondrously interesting corner of Europe. This book has been prepared, as have all the predecessors in this series, by the help of many who have written most delightfully of striking things in Norwegian life. One has specialized in one thing, while another has been allured by another subject. Accordingly, "Norwegian Life" is the product of many, each inspired with feeling and admiration for the one or two subjects on which he has written better than on any others. Liberty has been taken to make a few verbal changes in order to give to the story the unity and smoothness desired, and a key letter at the end of each chapter refers the reader to a page at the close where due credits are given.

J.M. HALL.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I PREHISTORIC AND EARLY HISTORIC TIMES

CHAPTER II NORWAY IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

CHAPTER III SWEDEN IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

CHAPTER IV THE RELIGION OF THE NORTHMEN

CHAPTER V THE LITERATURE OF NORWAY

CHAPTER VI THE LITERATURE OF SWEDEN

CHAPTER VII GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF NORWAY AND SWEDEN

CHAPTER VIII THE ARMY AND NAVY

CHAPTER IX PUBLIC EDUCATION

CHAPTER X HAAKON VII, NEW KING OF NORWAY

CHAPTER XI THE ROYAL FAMILY OF SWEDEN

CHAPTER XII CHARITABLE AND BENEVOLENT INSTITUTIONS

CHAPTER XIII MATERIAL CONDITIONS

CHAPTER XIV HIGHWAYS, RAILWAYS, AND WATERWAYS

CHAPTER XV THE PEOPLE: THEIR MANNERS AND CUSTOMS

CHAPTER XVI HEALTH, EXERCISE, AND AMUSEMENTS

CHAPTER XVII THE NEWSPAPERS OF NORWAY AND SWEDEN

CHAPTER XVIII NORWEGIAN FOLK SONGS

CHAPTER XIX WOMEN OF NORWAY AND SWEDEN

NORWEGIAN LIFE

CHAPTER I

PREHISTORIC AND EARLY HISTORIC TIMES

A glance at the map will show that the Scandinavian Peninsula, that immense stretch of land running from the Arctic Ocean to the North Sea, and from the Baltic to the Atlantic, covering an area of nearly three hundred thousand square miles, is, next to Russia, the largest territorial division of Europe. Surrounded by sea on all sides but one, which gives it an unparalleled seaboard of over two thousand miles, it hangs on the continent by its frontier line with Russia in Lapland. Down the middle of this seabound continent, dividing it into two nearly equal parts, runs a chain of mountains not inappropriately called K├Âlen, or Keel... Continue reading book >>




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