Book cover for 'Ring of Seasons'
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Ring of Seasons

Iceland--Its Culture and History
Terry G. Lacy
Iceland in all of its extraordinary glory


A remote island with a rich and ancient literature. A land of hot springs and volcanoes. A country with an extraordinary history, a challenging geography and a vibrant contemporary culture. A land of ice.

In Ring of Seasons, Terry Lacy —an American who has lived in Iceland for twenty-four years—brings both the perspective of the outsider and the familiar eye of the long-term resident to this delightful exploration of all facets of Iceland, past and present. She conveys her story with a skillful interlacing of history, religion, politics, and culture to paint a vivid picture of the way Icelanders live today as members of a wealthy society still very dependent upon nature—from a reliance on her icy waters to support an international fishing industry to a watchful cohabitation with the volcanoes that both destroy villages and create new islands.

This is a book for all who have been charmed by reading the Norse sagas, for all those intrigued by the country that can claim the oldest living democracy. It is an excellent introduction for anyone planning to visit Iceland and a delightful read for all those who do their exploration from the comfort of an armchair.

Terry G. Lacy is an American currently residing in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Praise / Awards

  • ". . . this well-researched and engagingly constructed work offers a fascinating, detailed examination of the ways that Iceland's saga-related origins and the rigors of human adaptation to this volcanic north Atlantic island are still key determinants of its contemporary cultural values and social behavior."
  • ". . . partly a personal look at contemporary life in Iceland, focusing on the major events in one Icelandic family's life during the course of a year. But it is also a brief introduction to Norse mythology, as well as a summary of the major developments in Icelandic history, from settlement to the present. . . . Ring of Seasons provides a good, general introduction to Iceland's history and culture. For anyone planning to travel to Iceland for the first time, this would be a useful source of information to supplement what is provided by more traditional travel guides."
    —Marvin G. Slind, Luther College, Scandinavian Studies
  • ". . . an upbeat account of Icelandic life that follows a year-long cycle of rituals and events in a family. . . . [Lacy] is a clear-eyed observer. . . ."
    Times Literary Supplement

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 328pp.
  • 1 drawing, 19 photographs, 3 maps, 16 page insert = 42 color photos.
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Sales Restrictions

Our edition is unavailable in Ireland


  • Paper
  • 2000
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-08661-0

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  • $28.95 U.S.



  • Iceland, Icelandic, Reykjavik, island, volcano, geography, history, religion, Norse, Greenland, Scandinavia