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Eyvindur of the Mountains

Jóhann SigurjónssonAn original manuscript of the play Fjalla-Eyvindur (Eyvindur of the Mountains) by Jóhann Sigurjónsson is kept  in the Manuscript Department of The National and University Library of Iceland. The  manuscript is written in Denmark in 1909-1911, both in Icelandic and Danish, and was published first in Danish in the autumn of 1911 as Bjærg-Ejvind og hans Hustru. It was republished twice during the author´s lifetime, in 1913 and 1917, and the latter version is quite different from the original text. The play is based on the life story of one of the best known outlaws in Iceland, Eyvindur Jónsson, who was born in Hlíð in Hrunamannahreppur Parish and probably died around 1785 in the very difficult years after the Skaftáreldar eruption. Thus, 300 years have now passed since Eyvindur was born.  He and his wife Halla Jónsdóttir are reported to have fled into the remote highlands of Iceland and lived there for over twenty years. The play Fjalla-Eyvindur was premiered in Reykjavík on the 26 December 1911 and turned out to be a great success. Its premiere in the Dagmar Theatre in Copenhagen in the spring of 1912 was the start of a successful tour of the play, first around Denmark and Scandinavia, later to Germany where it was widely shown, e.g. in Berlin. The play Fjalla-Eyvindur was the first literary work of an Icelander to become internationally known in later years; before that foreigners were mainly familiar with The Sagas. Jóhann Sigurjónsson was born in 1880 at Laxamýri, in the northern part of Iceland. He wrote poems, plays, novels and adventure stories. Jóhann Sigurjónsson died in 1919.

From the Dagmar Theatre´s in Copenhagen staging of Bjærg-Ejvind og hans Hustru in 1912 (cfr. at http://leikminjasafn.is/annall/1912eyvi.html).

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