Home » Uncategorized » Vikings Books Competition – Closing Date 25th May 2014

Vikings Books Competition – Closing Date 25th May 2014


To celebrate the Viking Exhibition at the British Museum , Visiting London Guide has some Viking goodies kindly donated by British Museum Press for someone to win in our Viking Competition.

To be in with a chance to win the prizes answer the following questions:

1) What Scottish Island were the Chessmen discovered in 1831 ?

2) Harald became the King of which Scandinavian country ?

To Enter

To enter the competition, email visitinglondonguide@gmail.com with Competition in the subject line.

Please give your answers to the questions and your name and address.

Closing date will be 25th May 2014

Sorry but only UK residents can enter this competition.

Full terms and conditions can be found at the bottom of this article.

The winner will win the following books and gift:


The Lewis Chessmen by Irving Finkel  (For children aged 9-11)

(British Museum Press)

The Lewis Chessmen are some of the British Museums most popular exhibits but how did they end up at the British Museum ?

Their journey from a hole underneath a Scottish beach  to prized possessions of the British Museum is told in this book from the viewpoint of the Lewis Chessmen themselves.

Where the Ivory  Chessmen were made is shrouded in mystery but many archaeologists believe the Chessmen were created in Scandinavia possibly Norway.

The book begins not in Scandinavia but on a Scottish beach on the Isle of Lewis in 1831 , the Chessman had grown used to living underground but heavy storms and a  wayward cow finally expose their hiding place.

This is the beginning of an adventure that finds our Chessmen passed around collectors until they are divided and sold, sixty seven  to the British Museum and eleven to a collector Mr Sharpe before finally ending up in the Royal Museum of Scotland.

Our small Chessmen try to make sense of all that happens to them until they are finally reunited for a special exhibition in 1993.

This very enjoyable book with wonderful illustrations  give full reign to the characters that are so appealing about the Chessmen. Each Chessman seems to have its own character and expression , some of the Kings sword in hand are ready for battle, the Queen hand on face looks exasperated , the  holy Bishops look very jolly and the Warders, sword and shield in hand are ready to protect.

This book will appeal to children who like to understand history in a fun and amusing way , the Chessmen like children are frequently bemused by the behaviour of grown ups.

If you would like to buy a copy of this book , Visit the British Museum Shop here


The Tale of King Harald by Thomas J. T. Williams   (For children aged 9-11)

The Tale of King Harald looks at the harsh reality of Viking life by tracing the adventures of Harald from a young man in the dark forests of Norway to his final quest to secure the British Isles.

This book is part adventure , part history lesson about how the Vikings travelled far and wide in pursuit of wealth and power. Harald is forced to leave Scandinavia at an early age to offer his service to Yaroslav ,Grand Prince of Novograd and all the Rus. Over the next few years he becomes as a fearsome warrior travelling as far as Byzantium to join the Emperor’s Varangian Guard.

But working as a mercenary for other rulers did not satisfy Harald who finally decides to return home to fight for the Norwegian Crown which he finally achieves. But all this is not enough as he becomes ruthless, single- minded and obsessed with war.

The Tale of King Harald  is much more than just an adventure story but gives a sense of the type of world the Vikings lived in. Kinship and alliances were important but these all too easily degenerated into bitter feuds and wars.

For many Vikings rulers, violence was a way of life  to gain wealth and power but the growth of Christianity led many to question that particular approach.

The book is sub titled The Last Viking Adventure because with Harald’s defeat at Stamford Bridge the Viking age was almost over . In Britain at least, it was the time for the Normans themselves descended from the Vikings to conquer and rule.

If your child is interested in the Vikings and history , this well written and well illustrated book is a good starting point to   understand the Viking way of life.

If you would like to buy a copy of this book , Visit the British Museum Shop here


Make Your Own Viking Ship (The British Museum Press)

The Viking Ship was essential for the Vikings success in raids and conquests, now you can make your own !

Based on the famous Oseberg ship, you can press out the pieces and construct your own Viking Ship.

If you would like to buy a this gift , Visit the British Museum Shop here


Competition Terms and Conditions

  1. The competition is open to residents of the UK .
  2. The competition is not open to employees or agencies of Visiting London Guide or family members or anyone else connected to the prize draw.
  3. Entry is acceptance of these terms and conditions
  4. To enter the competition, email visitinglondonguide@gmail.com with Competition in the subject line. If you have any questions about how to enter or in connection with the competition, please email us with Competition in the subject line.
  5. Only one entry per person. Entries on behalf of another person will not be accepted and joint submissions are not allowed.
  6. No responsibility is taken for entries that are lost, delayed, misdirected or incomplete. Proof of delivery of the entry is not proof of receipt.
  7. The competition closes at 23.59 On 25 May 2014.
  8. The winners will be chosen from a random draw of entries.
  9. One Winner will receive one copy of The Lewis Chessmen, The Tale of King Harald , Make your own Viking Ship.
  10. The winner will be notified by email on 26th May 2014.
  11.  The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and is not redeemable for cash.
  12. No purchase necessary.
  13. The prize draw will be governed by English law.
  14.  Promoter: Visiting London Guide.com
  15. We do not collect or pass on Personal Data , all email address, name and addresses received on competition entries will be deleted from our systems.

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