The Younger Edda is a collection of poetic folklore, myths and legends from Medieval Norse society dating to the early 13th century. It is considered a great work of ancient Nordic literature.
The Edda is thought to have been compiled and put into multiple copies under the auspices of historian Snorri Sturluson in around 1220. Comprised of three principle books containing both short stories and longer form fiction as told by the poetry of the Nordic peoples, the Edda brings together many of the most popular and enduring myths from across centuries of oral tradition.
It is thought that Sturluson originally composed this collection as a means of educating Icelandic readers in the various subtleties of the Nordic verses. Alliterative verses were a popular stylistic choice of the skaldic poets, as was the use of kenningar - or compound - wording. Although a total of seven manuscripts have been recovered, all are partial and many contain variations, and each are dated quite widely apart.
To this day, the Younger Edda is subject to immense scrutiny and study by scholars of mythology and literature. The very origins of its name is a matter of debate; some have pointed out that a town in southern Iceland is named 'Oddi', while others point to a more etymological origin; namely the word óor - which means 'poetry of inspiration'. Whatever its origins, its breadth cannot be doubted: a combination of characters from Icelandic and wider Nordic myth, such as Loki and Thor, feature in the text.
This edition was edited and translated by the Wisconsin-based scholar of Nordic literature and myth, Rasmus Björn Anderson. Anderson offers an insightful preface and introduction, allowing the reader to better comprehend the old lore and tales.