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Visit to Iceland and the Scandinavian North   By: (1797-1858)

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First Page:

VISIT TO ICELAND AND THE SCANDINAVIAN NORTH

TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF MADAME IDA PFEIFFER.

WITH Numerous Explanatory Notes AND EIGHT TINTED ENGRAVINGS.

TO WHICH ARE ADDED AN ESSAY ON ICELANDIC POETRY, FROM THE FRENCH OF M. BERGMANN; A TRANSLATION OF THE ICELANDIC POEM THE VOLUSPA; AND A BRIEF SKETCH OF ICELANDIC HISTORY.

Second Edition.

LONDON: INGRAM, COOKE, AND CO. 1853

[Picture: Pictorial title page]

ADVERTISEMENT TO THE FIRST EDITION

The success which attended the publication in this Series of Illustrated Works of A Woman's Journey round the World , has induced the publication of the present volume on a country so little known as Iceland, and about which so little recent information exists.

The translation has been carefully made, expressly for this Series, from the original work published at Vienna; and the Editor has added a great many notes, wherever they seemed necessary to elucidate the text.

In addition to the matter which appeared in the original work, the present volume contains a translation of a valuable Essay on Icelandic poetry, by M. Bergmann; a translation of an Icelandic poem, the 'Voluspa;' a brief sketch of Icelandic History; and a translation of Schiller's ballad, 'The Diver,' which is prominently alluded to by Madame Pfeiffer in her description of the Geysers. {1}

The Illustrations have been printed in tints, so as to make the work uniform with the Journey round the World .

London, August 1, 1852.

AUTHOR'S PREFACE

"Another journey a journey, moreover, in regions which every one would rather avoid than seek. This woman only undertakes these journeys to attract attention."

"The first journey, for a woman ALONE, was certainly rather a bold proceeding. Yet in that instance she might still have been excused. Religious motives may perhaps have actuated her; and when this is the case, people often go through incredible things. At present, however, we can see no just reason which could excuse an undertaking of this description."

Thus, and perhaps more harshly still, will the majority judge me. And yet they will do me a grievous wrong. I am surely simple and harmless enough, and should have fancied any thing in the world rather than that it would ever be my fate to draw upon myself in any degree the notice of the public. I will merely indicate, as briefly as may be, my character and circumstances, and then I have no doubt my conduct will lose its appearance of eccentricity, and seem perfectly natural.

When I was but a little child, I had already a strong desire to see the world. Whenever I met a travelling carriage, I would stop involuntarily, and gaze after it until it had disappeared; I used even to envy the postilion, for I thought he also must have accomplished the whole long journey.

As I grew to the age of from ten to twelve years, nothing gave me so much pleasure as the perusal of voyages and travels. I ceased, indeed, to envy the postilions, but envied the more every navigator and naturalist.

Frequently my eyes would fill with tears when, having ascended a mountain, I saw others towering before me, and could not gain the summit.

I made several journeys with my parents, and, after my marriage, with my husband; and only settled down when it became necessary that my two boys should visit particular schools. My husband's affairs demanded his entire attention, partly in Lemberg, partly in Vienna. He therefore confided the education and culture of the two boys entirely to my care; for he knew my firmness and perseverance in all I undertook, and doubted not that I would be both father and mother to his children... Continue reading book >>




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