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A Two Hundred Year Invasion: The Story of the Vikings in Ireland.

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PORTLAND: Author and historian James L. Nelson brings the story of Ireland’s Viking past to the Maine Irish Heritage Center on Sunday afternoon, October 6th at 2 o’clock with a talk entitled: A Two Hundred Year Invasion: The Story of the Vikings in Ireland.

By the year 795, all of Europe was solidly in the Dark Ages, with Ireland standing out as a refuge of Christian culture. It was then that the island was visited by the most unwelcome of guests – Viking raiders from Norway, who plundered the exposed and barely protected monasteries along its coast during the next two hundred years. Over time, though, the Norse raiding voyages became voyages of settlement; rather than tear monasteries down, they built cities up. In the mid-800s, the only city of note in all of Ireland, for instance, was a Viking settlement at a place that the Irish called Dubh-linn.

Award-winning author James L. Nelson has turned his story-telling skills toward the history of Viking raids and settlements in medieval Ireland and how the cultures of the Norsemen and the Irish influenced each other. His new novel, Fin Gall (which means in Irish Gaelic “White Strangers,” the Irish term for the Norwegian Vikings) tells the story of the Viking incursions into the island and the violent opposition they met at Irish hands. Nelson will be discussing this little-known but fascinating story and signing copies of his book.

Jim Nelson, born and raised in Lewiston, Maine, is the author of 17 works of maritime fiction and history. He worked on board traditional sailing ships for six years. He is the winner of the American Library Association/William Young Boyd Award and the Naval Order’s Samuel Eliot Morison Award. Jim has lectured all over the country and appeared on the Discovery Channel, History Channel and BookTV. He lives in Harpswell, Maine with his former shipmate and now wife, Lisa, and their four children.

FMI: (207) 780-0118