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Letter by Guðríður Símonardóttir

    This is the copy of a letter sent by Guðríður Símonardóttir (1598-1682), enslaved during a raid by Barbary pirates on the Westman Islands in 1627 and brought to Algeria. The letter is addressed to her husband, Eyjólfur Sölmundarson, who had escaped the slave raiders and was still living in the Westman Islands; he died shortly before his wife’s return. Guðríður was one of 34 Icelandic slaves to be freed in 1636, 27 of whom returned to Iceland. Guðríður Símonardóttir’s letter describing her experiences is the only surviving letter from an enslaved Icelandic woman among the captives, albeit preserved only in a copy. Unfortunately, there is a lacuna in the bishop’s copybook, and only the first leaf survives.

    Original source name : Bréf Guðríðar Símonardóttur
    English translation : Letter by Guðríður Símonardóttir
    Creator : N/A
    Document- type 1 : correspondence
    Reference number : AM 247 4to, f. 143
    Language(s) : Icelandic
    Geographical coverage : Algeria
    Time range : 17thc.
    Year(s) : 1635
    Theme 1 : experience of migration
    Theme 2 : war and displacement
    Link to the item in the catalogue :
    Publication(s) : Jón Þorkelsson, Tyrkjaránið á Íslandi (Reykjavík: Sögufélagið, 1906-1909), 419-421.
    Archive name : Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum
    Archive name (English) : Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies
    Archive address : Árnagarði við Suðurgötu, 102 Reykjavík
    City : Reykjavík
    Country : Iceland
    Official website and institutional resources :
    Finding aid(s) :
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