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ERIC THE RED by Neil Grant

ERIC THE RED

The Viking Adventurer

By Neil Grant (Author) , Victor Ambrus (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-19-521431-5
Publisher: Oxford Univ.

This entry in the What's Their Story? series goes beyond the well-known image of the famously fierce Eric the Red to unveil a driven explorer and founder of a new land. Eric, like his father, became an outlaw due to his hot temper and the killings that were the unfortunate outgrowth of the many skirmishes that arose. His outlaw status and a dearth of farm land inspired Eric to go exploring. During a three-year expedition, Eric and his men saw Greenland; Grant (The Great Atlas of Discovery, 1992), wryly comparing Eric to a travel agent as he promotes the new land, divulges the origins of Greenland's name. "Although it was mostly covered with ice, he called it 'Greenland' because, he said, people are more likely to go to a place if it has an attractive name." The biography offers a good, dense overview of Eric's daring explorations, his leadership, the discoveries of his son, Leif, and the impact of Christianity on the Vikings. Focusing on the accomplishments of the Vikings instead of the bloodlust that has historically characterized their labors, Grant refers without glorification to the violence that was part of a warrior's life. Ambrus's meticulous illustrations vividly portray Eric's times. (maps, index) (Picture book/biography. 6-9)