Far(ley) before the Vikings

The last couple of weeks on the train I have been immersed in the world of ancient sefarers. My latest read has been aaa|The Farfarers|1883642566|aaa by Canadian author Farley Mowat. Mowat explores the possibility that there could have been European travelers in the Northern Hemisphere long before the Vikings traveled to “Vinland” around 1000 AD.

Mowat is know in the History world for his book, “aaa|Westviking|0308600592|aaa”, published in the 1960’s. While researching this book, in which he expresses the belief that the Norse were the first European explorers in Canada, Mowat had a feeling that he wasn’t getting the whole story. He spent the next 30 years traveling Eastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland and the northern British Isles looking for the missing links.

What he found opens the window to the possibility of earlier expiditions to the “New World.” Mowat has given the reader a thorough look at the facts and fills in the whole with original narrative. His storytelling style is entertaining while thoroughly convincing.

“The Farfarers” is full of historical facts and theories, but was by no means too heady for those only slightly interested in history. My one complaint is that although Mowat includes a map in the front flap of the book, the locations marked do not always represent the locations talked about in the book.

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