|Publication Date||December 1, 1999|
MYSTERIOUS LONGHOUSES in the Arctic, ancient stone beacons in Newfoundland - are they evidence of Europeans who crossed the Atlantic before A.D. 1000? Farley Mowat advances a controversial new theory about the first visitors to North America.
Mowat's Westviking: The Ancient Norse in Greenland and North America (1965) was highly influential in helping to establish the belief, now commonly held, that the Norse visited North America some 500 years before Columbus. And yet "a worm of unease" plagued Mowat even then, a vague feeling that he hadn't gotten it quite right. He spent the next 30 years in search of a theory that would explain inconsistencies in the archaeological evidence (such as carbon-dated ruins not left by the Inuit, but that predated the arrival of Vikings in Newfoundland by hundreds of years). Now in The Farfarers he asserts that another Indo-European people he calls the "Alban" preceded the Norse by several centuries.
Throughout The Farfarers, Mowat skillfully weaves fictional vignettes of Alban life into his thoughtful reconstruction of a forgotten history. What emerges is a bold and dramatic panorama of a harsher age: an age of death-dealing warships and scanty food supply, of long, cold journeys across the night sea into unknown lands.
"A spellbinding story . . . told by a master storyteller at the top of his form." -- The Globe And Mail
"The book is a fascinating glimpse of yesteryear and offers brief histories on the Celts, Saxons, Vikings, Inuits, and other peoples of the northern hemisphere. Written in vigorous, picturesque prose." -- The Edmonton Sun