Thóroddsen, Jón (yōn tōˈrôtsĕn) [key], 1818–68, Icelandic novelist and poet. He studied law in Copenhagen intermittently from 1841 to 1850, fought in the Danish army, and after his return to Iceland was prefect of various districts until his death. Although he contributed to political and literary periodicals and wrote idyllic poetry, his chief importance was as a novelist. His Lad and Lass (1850, tr. 1890) was the first published novel in Icelandic. In a vigorous, concise style, showing the influence of the sagas, he depicted rural life in Iceland and created lively, highly individual characters. In his last novel, Man and Wife (1876), there is much folklore and superstition.
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