The Land of the Midnight Sun: Summer and Winter Journeys through Sweden, Norway, Lapland and Northern Finland - Vol. 1

The Land of the Midnight Sun: Summer and Winter Journeys through Sweden, Norway, Lapland and Northern Finland - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

The Land of the Midnight Sun: Summer and Winter Journeys through Sweden, Norway, Lapland and Northern Finland - Vol. 1

The Land of the Midnight Sun: Summer and Winter Journeys through Sweden, Norway, Lapland and Northern Finland - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The account of the Peninsula of Scandinavia, and of the life of its people, given in these volumes, is the result of a series of journeys made at different times, from 1871 to 1878, embracing a sojourn in the country of nearly five years.

From the beginning, my intention was to write something more than a mere narrative of travel. The object of my journeys was to make a study of the physical characteristics of the country, and to closely observe the manners and customs of its inhabitants, by participating in the home-life of all classes. I felt sure that no such description could be faithful unless I so won their affection and confidence that they would consider me as one of themselves. In pursuance of this purpose, I acquired some knowledge of their languages, knowing that there could be no genuine sympathy between the rural population and myself, and I should obtain no real acquaintance with them, if we could not converse with each other.

In order to become thoroughly acquainted with the country, I travelled in an irregular course, by routes often crossing each other, and at different seasons of the year, either from the Baltic to the Polar Sea, or from the east to the west. I have observed the whole coast from Haparanda to the extreme north-eastern point of Norway, a distance of 3200 miles, the greater part of it both in winter and in summer; and, besides, I have sailed on almost every fjord, whose shores have in the aggregate an extent of 3000 miles or more.

I have paid special attention to the prehistoric and Viking ages, and have availed myself of the most recent researches of the Norwegian and Swedish archæologists in that direction, and of the illustrations lately published, to aid me in eluci-

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