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A Grand Adventure

June 15, 2017

A Grand Adventure

The Lives of Helge and Anne Stine Ingstad and Their Discovery of a Viking Settlement in North America – Benedicte Ingstad


“Benedicte Ingstad’s biography of her parents succeeds on many different levels. It is first and foremost a portrait of two remarkably different explorers who eventually made one of the most important archaeological discoveries of their time. The book is also a terrific adventure yarn and a wonderful scientific mystery story. Researchers had long puzzled over whether the descriptions in Scandinavian sagas of Viking voyages to Vinland were in fact true. Deeply fascinated by these accounts, Helge and Anne Stine Ingstad set out to solve the mystery. The author presents their superb detective work in a deft, engaging way. This book is a classic.”—Heather Pringle, author of In Search of Ancient North America: An Archaeological Journey to Forgotten Cultures

In 1960, Helge Ingstad and Anne Stine Ingstad made a discovery that rewrote the history of European exploration and colonization of North America – a thousand-year-old Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland. In A Grand Adventure, the Ingstads’ daughter Benedicte tells the story of their remarkable lives spent working together, sharing poignant details from her parents’ private letters, personal diaries, their dinner table conversations, and Benedicte’s own participation in her parents’ excavations.

Following young Helge Ingstad from his 1926 decision to abandon a successful law practice for North American expeditions through Canada’s Barren Lands, Alaska’s Anaktuvuk Pass, and the mountains of northern Mexico, the story recounts his governorship of Norwegian territories and marriage to Anne Stine Moe. The author then traces Helge and Anne Stine’s travels around the world, focusing in particular on their discovery of the Viking settlement at the northern tip of Newfoundland. With Anne Stine as the head archaeologist, they excavate these ruins for eight years, while weathering destructive skepticism from academic peers, until indisputable evidence is unearthed and their find is confirmed. A remarkable look at a personal and professional relationship, A Grand Adventure shows two explorers’ unrelenting drive and unfailing courage.

Benedicte Ingstad is professor emerita of medical anthropology at the University of Oslo.

McGill-Queen’s University Press | June 2017 | 472pp | 9780773549685 | HB | £33.00*

20% discount with this code: CSL17AGABI**

*Price subject to change.

**Offer excludes the USA, South America and Australia.

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