A journey across Europe, from Greece to Iceland, exploring the continent through its epic stories – and their legacy today. In Epic Continent, I explore how stories of migration, nationhood, religious conflict, sex and violence have preoccupied the continent across the millennia. From Homer’s Odyssey, through the devastating conflict of the French Song of Roland, the controversial Kosovo Cycle and the German Nibelungenlied, to the eerie Anglo-Saxon epic of Beowulf and the Icelandic Njal’s Saga, this book shows how the world of gods and monsters, dragon-slayers, avenging queens and treasure-seekers has shaped our own.
Shortlisted for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year Award
‘an astonishing travel book… All of Europe is here in the local and the displaced, making one vast epic story of its own.’ The New European
‘A thought-provoking treatise interwoven with blistered-feet-on-the-ground accounts of spots both pretty… and gritty.’ National Geographic
‘Compelling, thought-provoking, and courageous.’ Kapka Kassabova
‘A masterly book, adventurous and wise.’ Philip Marsden