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January 30, 1943

His Sword: A Tale of the Vikings

JAMA. 1943;121(5):380. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840050078038

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Years ago a sunken ship was discovered near Oeseberg, Norway, which was the grave of King Harold's daughter, Queen Asa of Viken, and her favorite handmaiden, who had been killed in order that she might serve her mistress in Valhalla, as was the custom of those times. This ship is now in a museum in Oslo. The author, a country doctor now 76 years of age, began to write a historical novel based on this discovery, but as he delved into history it appeared that Queen Asa had done away with her husband and therefore did not deserve the service of a lovely handmaiden in Valhalla or the sacrifice of her life in order to serve the queen. The author then abandoned the strictly historical outline and wrote a fanciful story in which he makes the queen a heroine and spares the life of her handmaiden. The book takes its

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