‘Highly entertaining’ – Nordic Reach
‘Written in a lively and humorous style, including many personal anecdotes, this book would be a good introduction to Finland’ – Scandinavian Journal of History
The modern nation of Finland is the heir to centuries of history and heritage, as a wilderness at the edge of early Europe, a borderland of the Swedish empire, and a Grand Duchy of Tsarist Russia. From prehistoric reindeer herders to the creators of Angry Birds, medieval barons to the rock band Lordi, Finnish history is rich with oddities and excitement, as well as unexpected connections to the outside world – the legendary English bishop who became its first Christian martyr; the Viking queen who hailed from the wastes of Lapland; the bored country doctor who helped inspire The Lord of the Rings; and the war heroes who held off the Soviet Union against impossible odds.
Jonathan Clements examines Finland’s public artworks and literary giants, its legends, folktales, and its most famous figures, building an indispensable portrait of this fascinating nation. This updated paperback edition includes expanded coverage on WW2 and new sections on Finns in America and Russia, as well as the centenary of the republic, taking Finland’s history up to its battle with COVID-19 and its historic application to join NATO.
And if you’re wondering where the awesome cover image comes from, you can read all about it here.