This is a collection of tales that have been translated from the original works of Swedish author Kata Dalström, who penned two books on Norse mythology and the Icelandic sagas for young readers in the late 1880s.

Nordic Tales of Gods for Children and Youth (Nordiska Gudasagor Berättade för Barn och Ungdom) and Nordic Tales of Heroes for Youth are now in the public domain, but I could not find an English translation of them. That is not to say none exist. For all I know there may be some excellent translations out there, but on this page you get my take.

Given that these stories were written more than a hundred years ago, the language in them was antiquated so I had to make some decisions. I wanted them to make sense to a young reader of our time and adapted the language with that in mind. I have also added more descriptions and explanations in some of the stories as I think it is possible that Swedish kids in the 1800s would have read these stories with a different lens than children of today can. In a factual sense, however, I have not changed anything. If Kata had written the moon was green (she didn’t), I would also have written that the moon was green.

The reason I have “hidden” these stories here in my writing nook instead of in the books and stories section in the Mead Hall is simple. In the Hall I posts stories that are true to the lore and legend of Ulfrheim. There are stories in Edda’s Edda that mirror the stories you can read here, but they are written from Edda’s perspective as a Norn with access to knowledge from the morning of time. She was there when most of these things happened, so she knows how it all played out.

Where Kata set out to preserve something she believed was great and sought to instil a sense of national pride in the children of her time, Edda views most interpretations of our past with a critical eye and a firm belief in the sanctity of certain tales. She says that not all knowledge is meant to reach every eye and ear and, as such, I guess we can safely conclude that she is an unreliable narrator. But then again, so is Kata Dalström and anyone else who tries to tell “the truth” about the Norse myths.

The truth is that we do not know for sure where and when these stories began. There are origin stories across the world that are surprisingly similar and they are all fascinating. Here in Fensala, it is the Northern stories that fascinate us and they have provided the framework that Ulfrheim is based on. I am immensely grateful to have grown up with my roots in this storytelling tradition, and I want to do my bit to help preserve these stories for future generations too.


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