Whenever we talk about explorers and explorations, I bet the first name that comes to one’s mind is Christopher Columbus. I know because I was no different until I got into reading about more ancient explorers. Do you know that there was another person before Columbus to set foot in North America? For those who don’t, his name is Leif Erikson.
I first came to know about him in a history class. There were a few facts mentioned about him in my history textbook and reading them. I felt an urge to research him, so I did. As a reader, what’s more fun of a way to explore someone than finding out a few books about him. I read quite some books about him and believe me. He is such an exciting personality to read about that you’ll never get tired of reading his biographies.
Leif Erikson was an explorer from Iceland who was supposedly the first European to set foot in the continent of North America, half a millennia before Christopher Columbus did. He is commonly known as ‘Leif the lucky.’ His father, Erik the red, owns the credit for making a settlement out of Greenland.
I was never very much into history books and biographies, but since I’ve read about Leif Erikson, I’ve spent a whole month reading books about him. Let’s know a little more about who he was and some books that I would personally recommend you to read to learn more about him.
Who Was Leif Erikson?
Leif Erikson was born to Erik the Red, the founder of the settlement in Greenland, and Thjodhild, a citizen of Iceland. He is assumed to be held in Iceland, which Norsemen recently colonized.
Belonging from Iceland, Leif Erikson was a Norse explorer considered the first European to set foot in North American Island, even before Christopher Columbus did. He is also known to have created a settlement of Norsemen in Vinland, which is supposedly coastal North America.
Leif is commonly known as ‘Leif the lucky.’ He gained this name because he rescued his castaway and crew on the return voyage to Greenland from Iceland, where he spent his winter.
13 Books About Leif Erikson
Now, let’s know a few books to give you a clear view of what this man actually contributed to our history.
1. Leif Eriksson: Viking Explorer Of The New World
Written by Cheryl DeFries, Leif Erikson: Viking Explorer Of The New World is a biography published in 2010.
Vikings were the seafaring people from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, collectively known as Scandinavia. This book tells the story of Leif Erikson as a leader of the Vikings and the settlement he created in Vinland, which has been tentatively identified as L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, Canada.
2. Who Was Leif Erikson?
Who Was Leif Erikson? is one of the recent Leif Erikson biographies written by Nico Medina in 2018.
This Biographic book tells the complete life story of the Viking leader, Leif Erikson, starting right from his father’s glories to his own, and also gives a detailed account of how life was like during the time of the Vikings.
3. Leif Eriksson (2004)
Written by Shannon Zemlicka in 2004, Leif Eriksson is a biographical book. It’s more like children’s literature meant for the younger generation to understand Leif Erikson.
This book shows how a young Leaf Erikson heard stories about there being a world in the west. When he grew up, he set sail to discover new places, finally landed in Vinland, where he established the first settlement and returned as a hero and an inspiration for other Vikings to explore more of the world.
4. Explore With Leif Eriksson
Explore With Leif Eriksson is a biography written by Natalie Hyde in 2014.
This book contains the facts about Leif Erikson’s journey from Iceland to Greenland and then finally to Vinland where he forged a new settlement. This book does not follow a story-like pattern and has a news-style representation of facts.
5. Eric The Red And Leif The Lucky
Erik The Red And Leif The Lucky is yet another Leif Erikson biography written by Barbara Schiller in 1979.
This book follows the life journeys of both Leif Erikson, known as ‘Leif the lucky,’ and his father, Erik the Red, and how they both set sails and ended up establishing new settlements.
6. Before Columbus: The Leif Eriksson Expedition
Before Columbus: The Leif Eriksson Expedition is a biography written by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel in 2003.
This book tells the tale of an explorer named Leif Erikson, who became the first known European to set foot in North America 500 years before Columbus even set sail. It also tries to figure out all the experiences Erikson might have had during his journey.
7. The Book Of Viking Myths
The Book Of Viking Myths is a fairy-tale fiction written in 2017 by Peter Archer.
This book tells tales, facts, and myths about the Vikings, who hold a special place in our history and cultures, and about the Viking leaders right from Leif Erikson to the deeds of Odin.
8. Leif Eriksson: Norwegian Explorer
Leif Eriksson: Norwegian Explorer is another biography about Leif Erikson written by Cynthia Klingel.
This book is a 2002 published biography that attempts to record the journey, experiences, and achievements of the Norwegian Explorer Leif Erikson.
9. Leif The Lucky
Leif The Lucky is a 1941 published biographical account about Leif Erikson written by Edgar Parin d’Aulaire and Ingri Parin d’Aulaire.
This book records the life of Leif Erikson right from his childhood when he traveled to Greenland from Iceland, his journey to Norway, and then finally about him reaching Vinland, where he marked the beginning of a new settlement.
10. Vinland: The Saga Of Leif Erikson
Vinland: The Saga Of Leif Erikson is a graphic novel written by Ralph Cinque in 2009.
This book shows Leif Erikson leaving for the West in search of new land and encountering adventure, thrill, happiness, and sorrow along the way, in a comic and a much fun-to-read way.
11. Norse Discoveries And Explorations In America
Norse Discoveries And Explorations In America is an account written by Hjalmar Holand in 1969.
This book records all the discoveries and explorations made during 982-1362, especially those made by the great Norse Explorer Leif Erikson.
12. Leif Erikson (2013)
Written in 2013 by John Bankston, Leif Erikson is another biographical about of the great explorer.
This book shows how Leif Erikson led the first expedition to America and followed his father’s footsteps, Erik the Red, and became a leader of the Greenland settlement set up by his father after his death.
13. The Landfall Of Leif Erikson
The Landfall Of Leif Erikson is written by Eben Norton Horsford in 1892.
This book is like a record of how and where Leif Erikson led the settlement, along with illustrations, maps, and pieces of evidence of the Vinland settlement to understand the reader about the great explorer better.
These were all the books I read about whom I think is the greatest explorer in history. He sailed out to explore a new world in the west and succeeded in not only exploring it but also forging a new settlement out of it.
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