The Scottish 11

Resources you might find interesting to supplement the lectures on The Lewis Chessman I gave at The Village at Unity on May 6, 2021 and for DEAR via Zoom on May 21, 2020.

First, some videos that might be fun &/or informative:

  • Wizard’s Chess Scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1:15) – Here’s the complete scene I cut short in my presentation.
  • Irving Finkel Curator’s Corner episode on the Lewis Chessmen (8:27) – If you were to imagine the quintessential English eccentric working in the British Museum, you would undershoot Irving Finkel. Watch the Wizard’s Chess Scene above before you watch this.
  • In Focus: Lewis Chessmen (4:50) – Nice overview from the Archaeology Soup YouTube channel. Mentions how they might have been found and covers the Trondheim-Iceland origin controversy.
  • History of the World in 100 Objects: #61, The Lewis Chessmen (15:00) – BBC Radio programme. Pushes the Trondheim origin story.
  • Part 1 of Masterpieces of the British Museum: Lewis Chessmen (15:00) – A slickly produced feature on the Lewis Chessmen in two parts.
  • Part 2 of Masterpieces of the British Museum: Lewis Chessmen (15:00) – The rest of the program.
  • Nancy Marie Brown Lecture at Cornell. (55:55) – An academic lecture summarizing her book, Ivory Vikings, with recited excerpts and a lot of great pictures. Several copies of this book are in the Monroe County Library system, but the Penfield branch doesn’t have one.
  • Noggin the Nog, Episode 1 (only the first 2+ minutes) – Beginning of the very first episode from 1959 of the popular British animated series. Succeeding episodes from the first season are on YouTube.

Here are some pdf documents I referenced in the talk. The first three are excerpts from the documents above, which are available on the Internet Archive:

  • Fredric Madden’s Original Paper – The first paper published about the Lewis Chessmen. Excerpt from Archaeologia, Volume XXIV, published by the Society of Antiquaries in London, 1832. Comes in at a hefty 97 pages!
  • Bishop Pall’s Saga – Excerpt from Origines Icelandicae, Volume I, a 1905 Oxford University translation of Icelandic Sagas.
  • Voyage of Gudmund the Good – Excerpt of Gudmund’s and Raven’s Sagas, from Origines Icelandicae, Volume I.
  • Life of Gudmund the Good – Complete, 141-page translation from the Viking Society of Northern Research, Coventry, UK, 1942. This document is part of a massive collection of Viking material available online at:
Illustration from the Life of Gudmund the Good

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