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Theodore Andersson presents the first formal analysis of the Icelandic family sagas. Isolating the structural and larger rhetorical features which are peculiar to the genre and set it apart from other narrative forms, his study relates these features to the older Germanic heroic poetry and demonstrates the continuity between this literary tradition and the sagas. The second part of his book is devoted to synopses and outlines of twenty-four family sagas, with a commentary on each in which the author points out salient literary features and includes a separate relevant reading list.