TEE TYRANTS by Richard Thomsen


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An unusual setting this- the Faroe Islands, at a time when they were still in a feudal state. The story opens with a struggle on the part of two yeomen- farmer landowners- over the law that landless men and women had no right to marry or beget children. The tyrant who wants to hold fast to his land wins the fight- and the good yeoman who would share his land loses out. From then on the struggle continues in the persons of two young couples befriended by the good yeoman, granted land and a right to marriage. And then history repeats itself. It is a strange story, a folk tale of sorts. And only when a ship is wrecked on their coast- and strangers introduced into their midst; only when the chance to build a ship and get off the island- do things change. There is conflict here between old ways and new, between customs wrenched out of tradition in the changing. The thread of story interest lies in the revelation of a way of life, rather than in successive climaxes, and it is for this it will be read. It might have been a Kristin Lavransdatter but it falls far short. For here is no timelessness of character and mood; simply a strange people, a strange way of life.

Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 1955
Publisher: Putnam