Highlight of the month
The autobiography Dægradvöl (e. Pastime) was written by Benedikt Gröndal, at an old age, at the end of the 19th century. In the biography, Benedikt reviews his eventful life and for example writes very openly about his contemporaries. Benedikt was born on October 6th 1826 and died August 2nd 1907. The manuscript collection preserves numerous manuscripts written by Benedikt, containing, amongst other things, poetry, translations and scholarly essays, drawings and letters.
Two versions of Dægradvöl have been published. The older version in 1923 and the latter one in 1953, first amongst the collected works of Benedikt and then printed as a book in 1965 that was republished in 2014.
The manuscript Lbs 1644 4to consists of twelve notebooks and is one of two autographs of Dægradvöl preserved at the National Library. Lbs 1644 4to is the manuscript containing the text that was published in 1953 and has been named the younger version of the story.
The manuscript was bought in the year 1912 from Benedikt‘s son in law, Þórður Edilonsson. Þórður and The National Librarian, Jón Jacobson, made an agreement providing that for the next 25 years the manuscript would neither be lent or read. Furthermore the agreement provided that the original autograph, that was in the custody of the family , should be kept untouched and unread for the same period of time.
Eventhough, despite the agreement, the Ársæll Árnason bookstore, was handed the manuscript for publication in 1923. That publication is generally called the elder version of the story and is based on the manuscript owned by Benedikts‘ heirs.
In the year 1985 Benedikt‘s heirs handed over to Landsbókasafn the manuscript containing Dægradvöl, written in three notebooks during the years 1887–1890. The manuscript was registered in 2013 and has the shelfmark Lbs 4520 8vo.
It seems that there can be found an even older version of the autobiography than the one published in 1923. The manuscript has similarities to that version with the exception of the chapter after 1874 that is missing from the manuscript but appears in the book 1923.
An important part in the autobiography composition are Benedikt‘s memorandums that he built on. The memorandums cover most of the years 1863–1907 and the last entry is written by Benedikt on the 29th of July, just a few days before he passed away. The memorandums are preserved at the National Library under the shelfmark Lbs 2101 8vo.
Lbs 1644 4to can be seen here: https://handrit.is/is/manuscript/view/is/Lbs04-1644
Lbs 4520 8vo can be seen here: https://handrit.is/is/manuscript/view/Lbs08-4520