Saturday, 10 May 2014

2014: Year of the Viking - Steer your longship towards these future viking events

As I mentioned in my latest and so far 5th part of my evidence and mainly personal experience of 2014 being Year of the Vikings - I am now going to reveal the details of some events that other viking enthusiasts like me would like to jot down in their diary and in some cases book tickets too asap.

In date ascending order they are: click on event titles for exact details and booking information.

1. Unlocking the Vikings - Language, Myths & Finds Conference
Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th June
Cavendish Hall, University of Nottingham
The conference will mark the conclusion of the cross-institution AHRC Collaborative Skills Development Programme known as Languages, Myths and Finds. This programme brings together graduate students and full-time researchers from across the UK and Ireland to explore the translation of Norse and Viking cultures into the modern day. Participants are working with local partners in five communities with Norse heritage: the Isle of Lewis, Cleveland, the Isle of Man, Dublin and Munster (Cork and Waterford). By collaborating with local schools, museums, historical societies and tourist organisations, the scheme aims to inspire greater public engagement with the Viking heritage of various localities. Participants will also draw on the work of the British Museum and its ‘Vikings: Life and Legend’ exhibition as part of their engagement with local communities. Do follow the project on Twitter, @LanguagesMyths, or watch this video on YouTube.

Confirmed speakers include:
Keynote speaker: Edmund Southworth (Manx National Heritage): Norse, Celt or English? The view from the Isle of Man
Papers and workshops:
Tom Birkett: Coming to a harbour near you! The Sea Stallion from Glendalough and heritage in motion
Ruarigh Dale:  ‘A frothing madman with a blade’: Depictions of berserkir in modern fiction
Thor Ewing:  Riddle Gestumblindi: Viking myths and music
Leszek GardeĊ‚a:  Vikings reborn: Facets of early medieval reenactment in contemporary Poland
Jane Harrison:  Where are the Vikings in Cleveland?
Genevieve Hopkins:  The position of the valkyrie in the Young Adult literary genre
Mark Kirwan:  Who cares about the Vikings? Perception of the Viking Age and the people who have studied it
Christina Lee:  Wikingertage, Wicky the Viking and Wotan’s Fluch: Vikings in German popular culture
Victoria Whitworth:  First catch your Viking: Creating norse narratives for a twenty-first century audience
Languages, Myths and Finds Presentations:
There will also be presentations from the five teams (Cleveland, Cork, Dublin, Isle of Lewis, Isle of Man) about their work on the project.

2. From Northmen to Normans
Talk by Dr David Petts of Durham University
Saturday 2nd July
7pm, DIG-An Archeological Adventure, York

The Vikings did not just raid the coasts of Britain and Ireland…

They also came to France, first as raiders and then as settlers. Focussing on Normandy and Brittany, this talk will explore the impact of the Vikings and consider their impact on the landscape and culture of France.

3. History Live (English Heritage)
Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th July
Kelmarsh Hall, Northampton 

Prepare to set foot into the midst of Europe's largest living history event, where thundering hooves, the clash of steel and the smoke of campfires will be among the sights, sounds and smells of history brought to life.
History Live! is the closest you'll ever get to the events, people and weapons that have shaped England's history over the last 2,000 years. There is something to captivate everyone, from the tension of D-Day to the drama of the War of the Roses; the thrill of jousting knights to the poignancy of the First World War; the brute force of gladiatorial combat to the skill of the Punjab Lancers. 
 *Special event of note - one of my favourite authors Giles Kristian, who's new EPIC Viking historical fiction book God of Vengeance is available NOW - will be hosting two author talks and book signings over the festival weekend*

I plan and intend to attend all 3 of these events as there is so much to be gained, learned, enjoyed and most importantly discovered. And if I come across anymore I will do my best to spread the word on here and yes I do intend to write hopefully raving reviews of the 3 events listed as well.

However there is one Vikingy *I stress the 'ee' sound* that I am MAJORLY EXCITED ABOUT! That is equally as exciting as the British Museum Vikings: Life & Legend Exhibit and that is....

How To Train Your Dragon 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I KNOW it's not historically truthful such as all the Vikings wear HORNS (no proof that they ever did) BUT if you have young ones or even teenagers that have seen and loved HTTYD1 then prepare for lots of excited squeals and 'wow' moments because this film is going to making Vikings cool again and that can only ever be a miracle and an amazing achievement.
And it is all down to the Odin blessed imagination of this amazing lady - Cressida Cowell and her ever expanding children's book of the same title that is the pure genius and inspiration that these films (are albeit loosely) based on.
I as a grown adult of 20 years read the first book in the series and even I was having fits of giggles. I feel the fantastic Dream Works team have worked as much magic with HTTYD books & characters as Warner Brother's did for Harry Potter by JK Rowling.

I mean what is there not to love?! Vikings, Dragons, comrades bound by honour, loyalty and friendship, brilliant witty humour, superb flight scenes, adventure, danger! If you take out the Dragons we are still left with the very essence of every great saga tale woven around the campfire from the Viking Age.

Seeing this film is going to be the highlight of my summer and perhaps make 2014 the year the word 'Vikings' is the word whispered and shouted from everyones lips.

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