1922 267 Reviews of Books The Norse Discoverers of America, tJie Wineland Sagas. Translated and discussed by G. M. GATHORNE-HARDY, F.R.G.S. (Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1921.) THE conclusion of this treatise is that Thorfinn Karlsefni found Cape Cod ; that the Wonder Strands are the New England coast, that Straumsey is Fisher's Island at the mouth of Long Island Sound, which is Straums- fjorcSr ; and that Hop is the bay or estuary of the Hudson Eiver. This theory is more likely than any other ; distinctly better than Gustav Storm's careful argument identifying Wineland with Nova Scotia. The choice, we may say, is between these two explanations ; for this reason, that the evidence requires a northward pointing cape, with water open for exploration on each side of it. There is no such landscape available except at Cape Breton Island, which is Storm's choice, and at Cape Cod, which is preferred by Mr. Gathorne-Hardy. Storm's argument is very plausible. His diagram showing the relative positions required by the story, and his application of this diagram to the map of Nova Scotia, seem to ' save the appearances ', at any rate. The story told in Eireks saga rauda can be made to fit. But Mr. Gathorne-Hardy shows that it does not fit without some forcing. Apart from the problem of the vine, which is not quite at home so far north, and keeping to geography, we are asked for an immense stretch of sandy shore, the 'Wonder Strands', which, briefly, is not there ; that defect alone seems enough to refute Nova Scotia. Mr. Gathorne- Hardy meets the eminent Norwegian historian, and gives good ground for rejecting his explanation. His own theory is even better than he knows ; it suffers, in his demonstration, from want of proper diagrams and maps. His argument needs one map taking in the whole coast from Cape Cod to the mouth of the Hudson ; this is not given ; instead of it there are two bits which leave out the Wonder Strands in the middle. It may be remarked here that the treatment of the old map of the Ice- lander Stephanius is clumsy and cruel, as may be judged by any one who will compare the rough sketch here, p. 290, with Storm's reproduction (Vinlandsreiserne, Fig. 2). After passing the Wonder Strands Karlsefni puts into a fjord. There was an island at the mouth, and very strong currents. Karlsefni made a camp there, or thereabout, and passed the winter. In the spring Karlsefni goes exploring by sea to the south, leaving his base at Straumsfjord, and coming at last to Hop where a river runs through a lake (vain) to the sea, with many shoals at the river-mouth. Mr. Gathorne-Hardy quotes here,
Page:English Historical Review Volume 37.djvu/275
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