(Re)imagining Medieval Icelandic Femininity in Victorian Britain

This project focuses on the reception of Old Norse literature in Victorian Britain. The main aim of the project is to analyse how the Old Norse heroines were portrayed and interpreted in the Victorian society of the late nineteenth century with a special focus on female readers, scholars, and writers.

About the project

The project is concerned with explaining the Victorian fascination with medieval Icelandic culture by analysing the striking contrast between the Victorian middle-class, which was infamously restricted by rigid gender roles, and the women characters in medieval Icelandic literature, who often transgress those normative roles. By combining biographical research, Victorian cultural studies, gender studies, research on medievalism and Old Norse studies, the project aims to provide answers to the following questions: how did Victorian readers receive and explain the heroines’ considerable freedom and agency? Could we speak of the Old Norse heroines as role-models for progressive nineteenth-century British women?


Docotral Research Fellow, Centre for Gender Research, 2022-2026

Published Aug. 11, 2022 9:15 AM - Last modified Aug. 11, 2022 9:19 AM