The Waif Woman

bookshelves: published-1916, unfinished-by-author, under-10-ratings, boo-scary, superstitions, ghosties-ghoulies, winter-20142015

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Don
Read from December 19 to 20, 2014

HUZZAH: Read here on Project Gutenberg

Opening: This is a tale of Iceland, the isle of stories, and of a thing that befell in the year of the coming there of Christianity.

In the spring of that year a ship sailed from the South Isles to traffic, and fell becalmed inside Snowfellness. The winds had speeded her; she was the first comer of the year; and the fishers drew alongside to hear the news of the south, and eager folk put out in boats to see the merchandise and make prices. From the doors of the hall on Frodis Water, the house folk saw the ship becalmed and the boats about her, coming and going; and the merchants from the ship could see the smoke go up and the men and women trooping to their meals in the hall.

The goodman of that house was called Finnward Keelfarer, and his wife Aud the Light-Minded; and they had a son Eyolf, a likely boy, and a daughter Asdis, a slip of a maid. Finnward was well-to-do in his affairs, he kept open house and had good friends. But Aud his wife was not so much considered: her mind was set on trifles, on bright clothing, and the admiration of men, and the envy of women; and it was thought she was not always so circumspect in her bearing as she might have been, but nothing to hurt.

This stained glass window shows the coming of Christianity to Iceland from Ireland – it is the only one in the the world that shows an active volcano.

From wiki: The history of Christianity in Iceland can be traced back to the Early Middle Ages when Irish hermits settled in Iceland at least a century before the arrival of the first Norse settlers in the 870s. Christianity started to spread among the Icelanders at the end of the 10th century. The adoption of the new faith by the whole population was the consequence of a compromise between the Christian and heathen chieftains at the national assembly or Alþingi of 999 or 1000.

Snowfellness = Snæfellsnes, a region in Breiðafjörður Bay

‘the day was not yet red before she was on the beach, had a boat launched, and was pulling to the ship.’

Meaning of “Thorgunna”

In Norwegian, the name Thorgunna means- thors fighter. The name Thorgunna orginated as an Norwegian name. The name Thorgunna is most often used as a girl name or female name.

‘“Ay, ay,” quoth Finnward. “But there goes a byword in the country: Little wit, little fear.”’

Meaning of “Asdis”

In Icelandic, the name Asdis means- goddess. The name Asdis orginated as an Icelandic name. The name Asdis is most often used as a girl name or female name.

grue (ɡruː)n
1. a shiver or shudder; a creeping of the flesh
vb (intr)
2. to shiver or shudder
3. to feel strong aversion
[C14: of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Swedish grua, Old Danish grue; related to German graven, Dutch gruwen to abhor]

Although this is registered as an unfinished story, ‘The Waif Woman’ stands well as a cautionary tale against avarice and covertousness in superstitious times.

3* Treasure Island
3* The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
3* Kidnapped (David Balfour, #1)
3* The Black Arrow
4* The Master of Ballantrae
4* The Bottle Imp
3* The Body Snatcher
3* Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes
4* Markheim
TR The Wrong Box
3* Olalla
3* Weir of Hermiston
5* Edinburgh: Picturesque Notes
4* The Sire De Maletroit’s Door
2* The Misadventures of John Nicholson
3* The Story of a Lie
3* The Waif Woman


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