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This Author: Nancy Marie Brown
This Narrator: Tony Ward
This Publisher: Recorded Books

Ivory Vikings by Nancy Marie Brown

Ivory Vikings

The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them

by Nancy Marie Brown


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Unabridged Edition
Running Time
10 Hrs.53 Min.
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In the early 1800s, on a Hebridean beach in Scotland, the sea exposed an ancient treasure cache: 93 chessmen carved from walrus ivory. Norse netsuke, each face individual, each full of quirks, the Lewis Chessmen are probably the most famous chess pieces in the world. Harry played Wizard's Chess with them in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Housed at the British Museum, they are among its most visited and beloved objects.

Questions abounded: Who carved them? Where? Ivory Vikings explores these mysteries by connecting medieval Icelandic sagas with modern archaeology, art history, forensics, and the history of board games. In the process, Ivory Vikings presents a vivid history of the 400 years when the Vikings ruled the North Atlantic, and the sea road connected countries and islands we think of as far apart and culturally distinct: Norway and Scotland, Ireland and Iceland, and Greenland and North America. The story of the Lewis chessmen explains the economic lure behind the Viking voyages to the west in the 800s and 900s. And finally, it brings from the shadows an extraordinarily talented woman artist of the 12th century: Margret the Adroit of Iceland.


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  • Published: September 2015
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: I100737
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