Jón Thoroddsen Piltur og stúlka

Lad and lass. A little story

Piltur og stúlka is regarded as the first Icelandic novel and Jón Thoroddsen (1818-1868) as the father of the genre in Iceland. It tells of a young couple, Indriði and Sigríður, whose story begins in the eastern Icelandic countryside, where rural life is simple and idyllic. Sigríður´s mother disapproves of the young lovers' intentions and drives them apart. They both travel to Reykjavík, where everything is dark and dangerous, but they are later reunited in their beloved countryside where love blossoms once again. Piltur og stúlka was written in 1848-1849 and published by the author in 1850; there have been nine subsequent editions. The book has been translated into English, Danish, German and Norwegian.

Thoroddsen wrote another novel, Maður og kona, (“Man and Woman”) which he did not complete, but that book was published in 1876, eight years after his death. Both books are love stories that happen in the Icelandic countryside. Jón Thoroddsen was born at Reykhólar on Barðaströnd. He studied at Bessastaðaskóli and read law at the University of Copenhagen. Thoroddsen was the district commissioner of Barðastrandarsýsla and lived in Flatey and in Hagi on Barðaströnd. Later he became the district commissioner of Borgarfjarðarsýsla and then lived at Leirá.

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