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Original Essays | September 18, 2014

Lin Enger: IMG Knowing vs. Knowing

On a hot July evening years ago, my Toyota Tercel overheated on a flat stretch of highway north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A steam geyser shot up from... Continue »
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This title in other editions

The Farfarers: Before the Norse


The Farfarers: Before the Norse Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

MYSTERIOUS LONGHOUSES in the Arctic, ancient stone beacons in Newfoundland - are they evidence of Europeans who crossed the Atlantic before A.D. 1000? Farley Mowat advances a controversial new theory about the first visitors to North America.

Mowat's Westviking: The Ancient Norse in Greenland and North America (1965) was highly influential in helping to establish the belief, now commonly held, that the Norse visited North America some 500 years before Columbus. And yet "a worm of unease" plagued Mowat even then, a vague feeling that he hadn't gotten it quite right. He spent the next 30 years in search of a theory that would explain inconsistencies in the archaeological evidence (such as carbon-dated ruins not left by the Inuit, but that predated the arrival of Vikings in Newfoundland by hundreds of years). Now in The Farfarers he asserts that another Indo-European people he calls the "Alban" preceded the Norse by several centuries.

Throughout The Farfarers, Mowat skillfully weaves fictional vignettes of Alban life into his thoughtful reconstruction of a forgotten history. What emerges is a bold and dramatic panorama of a harsher age: an age of death-dealing warships and scanty food supply, of long, cold journeys across the night sea into unknown lands.

"A spellbinding story . . . told by a master storyteller at the top of his form." — The Globe And Mail

"The book is a fascinating glimpse of yesteryear and offers brief histories on the Celts, Saxons, Vikings, Inuits, and other peoples of the northern hemisphere. Written in vigorous, picturesque prose." — The Edmonton Sun


The bestselling author of "Never Cry Wolf" offers compelling new evidence that Europeans landed on North American soil 1,500 years before Columbus. 12 photos.


Includes bibliographical references (p. 335-354) and index.

About the Author

FARLEY MOWAT was born in Ontario in 1921, served in World War II, and spent two years in the Arctic before he began writing for a living in 1949. He has published over 30 books, which have sold more than 14 million copies in 52 languages. He and his wife, writer Claire Mowat, divide their time between Ontario and Nova Scotia.

Product Details

Mowat, Farley
Random House
South Royalton, VT :
Discovery and exploration
Ancient - General
North American
Expeditions & Discoveries
Edition Number:
1st pbk. ed.
Edition Description:
Series Volume:
no. HCFA
Publication Date:
February 2000
9.19x6.13x1.24 in. 1.24 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Archaeology » Europe
History and Social Science » Archaeology » General
History and Social Science » Native American » Arctic
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » General

The Farfarers: Before the Norse Used Trade Paper
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Product details 377 pages Steerforth Press - English 9781883642563 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The bestselling author of "Never Cry Wolf" offers compelling new evidence that Europeans landed on North American soil 1,500 years before Columbus. 12 photos.
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