Alan Lee, illustrator of such classics as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, talks to Five Books about his favourite stories drawn from myth and fairy tale, what they mean to him, and how important it is for young readers today to experience these ancient stories.
The Vikings discovered America and traded slaves in Baghdad. They sometimes buried their dead in ships, but probably did not burn them. And they did not wear horned helmets. Historian Eleanor Barraclough separates myth from reality and recommends books on the medieval Norse pillagers who have fascinated everyone from Hollywood to Hitler.