London: Gyldenal, 1922. First English Language Edition. Hardcover. This is an exceptional copy of the first English edition of Sigrid Undset's The Garland, the first volume in her Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, which was the basis for her being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1928. This copy is scarce thus, near fine in a very good minus dust jacket. The dark red cloth binding, printed gilt on the spine and blind stamped with title and author on the front cover, is square, clean, bright, and tight. We note only light wear to extremities and a small, unobtrusive indentation to the center of the blank rear cover. The contents are notably bright with no spotting and surprisingly clean page edges. The sole previous ownership mark is an inked gift inscription and “1961” date on the front free endpaper. Differential toning to the endpapers corresponds to the dust jacket flaps and confirms what the excellent binding already testifies – that this copy has spent life jacketed.
The dust jacket is strikingly bright, with no discernible fading to the vivid cover art and almost no spine toning. We note small losses to the spine ends and corners, as well as a small loss at the lower rear hinge and short closed tears to the bottom edge of the rear face. The dust jacket is protected beneath a removable, archival quality clear cover.
Sigrid Undset (1882-1949) was a Norwegian writer and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Her father, a Norwegian archaeologist, died when Undset was 11, causing her to forego a university edition and take a job as a secretary with an engineering company. It was while working in this position that she began to write, published her first work, and gained notoriety as a writer, enabling her to quit office work and live on her income as a writer. While her novels with contemporary female protagonists in contemporary setting earned her initial reputation, The Nobel Prize in Literature 1928 was awarded to Sigrid Undset "principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages".
Undset drew on the histories, legends, and folklore passed to her from her father to write her Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy (1920-1922) detailing the life of the title character, a woman in Medieval Norway. The novels were praised for their accuracy and vivid prose and were the subject of some controversy for their frank depiction of female sexuality, some scenes of which were expurgated from this first translation. Item #004165