Nicholas Jubber - A Continent of Epics - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781473665729
    • Publication date:16 May 2019

A Continent of Epics

From Turkey to Iceland in a Time of Turmoil

By Nicholas Jubber

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Award-winning travel writer Nicholas Jubber journeys across Europe exploring Europe's epic poems, from the Odyssey to Beowulf, the Song of Roland to the Nibelungenlied, and their impact on European identity in these turbulent times.

A boatload of men rushing away from a war-zone, seeking sanctuary in the islands of the Mediterranean...

A squabble amongst the French political elite, over the best way to 'deal with Islam'...

A broken alliance in Northern Europe, grievances festering, leading to wholesale destruction...

Are these stories ripped from the front pages of our newspapers - or the plots of epic sagas written hundreds of years ago?

In A Continent of Epics, award-winning travel writer Nicholas Jubber journeys across Europe, exploring the epic poems and how they have a startling resonance in contemporary times.

Reaching back to the era remembered as 'the Age of Migration', Jubber explores how attitudes to population movement, borders, kin relations, sex, class and political structures are dramatised in the ancient and medieval epics. From Homer's Odyssey, through the devastating conflict of the French Song of Roland and the German Nibelungenlied, to the great Viking sagas such as Beowulf and the Icelandic Njal's Saga, these are timeless tales about human nature; but also windows into other societies, with different emphases on matters of honour, kinship, fundamentalism and fate.

Both a thrilling look at the stories sung by medieval bards and minstrels and a journey across a continent struggling with its identity, A Continent of Epics examines how the great heroes dealt with their manifold challenges and explores how their influence has resonated down the ages to impact on what it means to be 'European' today.

Biographical Notes

Nicholas Jubber moved to Jerusalem after graduating from Oxford University. He'd been working two weeks when the intifada broke out and he started travelling the Middle East and East Africa. He has written three previous books, The Timbuktu School for Nomads, The Prester Quest (winner of the Dolman Prize) and Drinking Arak Off an Ayatollah's Beard (shortlisted for the Dolman Prize). He has written for the Guardian, Observer, and the Globe and Mail.

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  • ISBN: 9781473665743
  • Publication date: 16 May 2019
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  • Imprint: John Murray
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