New York: Bantam Books, 1978. Later printing. Three volumes. Small octavo, original illustrated wrappers, original illustrated cardboard slipcase. A near-fine set, rare complete and in this overall condition. Item #416
Lovely mass market paperback edition of the complete English translation of Sigrid Undset's trilogy of historical novels, unabridged and complete with the illustrated cardboard slipcase. Sigrid Undset converted to Catholicism in 1924 just after publication of this trilogy, a controversial act in the largely secular intellectual circles of Lutheran Norway. Set in the 14th century, Undset's stories vividly describe life in medieval Norway. These Bantam editions describe the novels as follows: Volume I: The Bridal Wreath (A Novel of Passion), Volume II: The Mistress of Husaby (A Novel of Marriage), Volume III: The Cross (A Novel of Leave-Taking).
The novels were first published in Norway in 1920-1922 and Undset was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928. This edition markets Undset's trilogy as a medieval historical romance and Kristin is generally viewed as a heroine of world literature but there is a more profound spiritual element at work in the novels that brings a debt to Dante's Divine Comedy to mind: "As we follow the arc of Kristin's life--from her early discovery of her willfulness to her efforts as an older woman to recover a pure heart--we traverse the whole Christian journey of the soul to God." (Robert Royal, A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century). Translated from the Norwegian by Charles Archer and J. S. Scott.