16 April 2018: Riding on the success of recent popular TV dramas such as the History Channel’s Vikings and the BBC’s adaption of Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom, Haynes Publishing is this month tackling the Viking Warrior head on with a new title that looks at the life, equipment, weapons and fighting tactics of these fierce, destructive fighting men.
Exploring Norse background and culture, how people lived and dressed, the weapons they carried and how they used them, The Viking Warrior Operations Manual also looks at the Viking belief systems and their allegiances to family, community and lord. The book also explains just why they were so effective as plunderers, traders, explorers and raiders.
Beyond day-to-day life, the book also examines the Viking legacy: the Normans, Varangian guards, Scandinavian literature, art, myth and legend, and its lasting influence on modern Europe.
Talking about the manual, author and veteran historian Angus Konstam comments: “The manual looks at the history of these feared Norse warriors who initially came to Britain’s shores when they attacked and looted the monastic island of Lindisfarne, off the coast of Northumberland, in the summer of AD793. Indeed, this assault was only the beginning – within 18 months huge areas of the British coast were being devastated by terrifying ships and the Vikings that sailed in them.
“Viewed by the indigenous British population as pagan sea raiders bringing doom on their country, I was keen to add some meat to the bones of these fearsome sea warriors by going into detail about where they came from, how they lived, the boats that they sailed, and what they believed in. This manual truly unlocks how the Vikings operated and offers some real insights into their day-to-day life.”
Illustrated throughout with fascinating images, the manual is written in the highly accessible yet informative style that characterises the Haynes operations manual series.
The Viking Warrior looks at:
•Viking Society: Kingship and community, Norse gods, farms and feasting halls, runes and sagas
•The Viking Look: Clothing, armour, weapons, the Norse axe and Scandinavian bow, plunder, booty and the spoils of war
•Viking Ships: Seafaring skills, shipbuilding and craftsmanship, traders and war ships, navigation and fighting at sea
•Viking Way of War: Raiding, conquest, armies, forts, battle tactics and fighting skills. The shield wall, heroism and personal glory
•Viking Kingdoms: Exploration to the east and settlements to the west, empire and conquest, the Vikings in North America
About the author
Angus Konstam was born in Aberdeen in 1960, but was brought up in the Orkney Islands, once ruled by Viking lords and part of the Nordic empire. One of the world’s leading authorities on the history of piracy, Angus has worked for the Royal Navy and the Royal Armouries, has studied archaeology, curated a maritime history museum in Florida, and is now a full time historian. Angus has written over 100 books covering a variety of historical subjects.
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