Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them

9 CDs. 10:45 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2015. ISBN 9781490693682. $77.75. 1 MP3-CD, digital download. HIST
The Lewis Chessmen are a set of iconic chess and gaming pieces from the Viking era that were found buried in a treasure cache on a Scottish beach in 1831. Although they were clearly produced in the Norse artistic tradition and material (walrus ivory), their country of origin and artist can only be matters of speculation. Brown (Song of the Vikings) skillfully uses the Chessmen as a launching pad for explorations of Viking culture, art, economics, social patterns, literature, history, and games. In the process, she makes a persuasive case for considering their creation by a specific known artist and in a specific location. Reader Tony Scott's narration is smooth and steady despite the challenge of medieval Norse nomenclature.
VERDICT Recommended for history and art collections. ["An intriguing work that should find a readership among history lovers": LJ 7/15 review of the Palgrave hc.]
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