Modern nationalism and the medieval sagas
Byock, Jesse L.
Northern Antiquity: The Post-Medieval Reception of Edda and Saga, ed. Andrew Wawn. London: Hisarlik Press, 1994, pp. 163-187
National consciousness is by no means a private affair. In most cases it is determined not only by what the group that is asserting a national identity thinks of itself but is also formed in response to the views of outsiders. External opinion has been especially important to the Scandinavians, whose largely agrarian societies lay until the late nineteenth century on the fringes of European cultural innovation. Despite the growth of industry and urbanisation beginning in the early nineteenth century, Scandinavia remained stigmatised as a region of cultural backwardness until the early twentieth century.