It may be noticed that the Flatey Book narrative gives a somewhat different but much slighter account of Thorfinn's expedition, making both Thorvald Ericsson and Freydis undertake separate Vinland ventures - one before, the other after, Karlsefni's enterprise - Thorvald being killed on his (as in Red Eric Saga, but with divergent details), and Freydis on her committing atrocities upon her comrades, the Icelanders Helgi and Finnbogi, which are unnoticed in Red Eric. The latter, however, in its mention of the domestic broils which arose over the women of the colony in its third winter, points to something which may have been the germ of the highly elaborated Freydis story in Flatey.
On Flatey Book, Red Eric Saga and the whole bibliography for the Vinland voyages, including that of Thorfinn, see Leif Ericsson and Vinland.
The six Vinland voyages of Flatey, we may repeat, Red Eric reduces to three, wholly omitting the alleged voyage of Biarni Heriulfsson, and grouping those of Thorvald Ericsson and Freydis with Thorfinn Karlsefni's in one great colonizing venture.
The less trustworthy history of the Flatey Book makes Biarni Heriulfsson in 985 discover Helluland (Labrador?) as well as other western lands which he does not explore, not even permitting his men to land; while Leif Ericsson follows up Biarni's discoveries, begins the exploration of Helluland, Markland and Vinland, and realizes some of the charms of the last named, where he winters.
But this secondary authority (the Flatey Book narrative), which till lately formed the basis of all general knowledge as to Vinland, abounds in contradictions and difficulties from which Eric the Red Saga is comparatively free.
Thus (in Flatey) the grapes of Vinland are found in winter and gathered in spring; the man who first finds them, Leif's foster-father Tyrker the German, gets drunk from eating the fruit; and the vines themselves are spoken of as big trees affording timber.
544 and 557 of the Arne-Magnaean collection in Copenhagen; the MS. of the Flatey Book, so called because it was long the property of a family living on Flat Island in Broad Firth.
(Flatey in Breioafjord [B-eidafj-d]), on the north-west coast of Iceland, was presented in 1662 to the Royal Library of Denmark, of which it is still one of the chief treasures.
Reeves, Finding of Wineland the Good: the History of the Icelandic Discovery of America (London, 1890); in this work the original authorities are given in full, with photographic facsimiles, English translations and adequate commentary; Rafn's Antiquitates Americanae (Copenhagen, 1837) contains all the sources, but the editor's personal views have in many cases failed to satisfy criticism; the Flatey text is printed also by Vigfusson and Unger in Flateyjar-bok, vol.
There are also translations of Flatey and Red Eric Saga in Beamish, Discovery of North America by the Northmen (Lond., 1841); E.
Vigfusson, Origines Islandicae (1905), which strangely expresses a preference for the Flatey Book " account of the first sighting of the American continent" by the Norsemen.
The other saga, which by chance came to be looked upon as the chief repository of facts concerning the Vinland voyages, is found in a large Icelandic work known as the Flatey Book, as it was once owned by a man who lived on Flat Island (Flatey), on the north-western coast of Iceland.
(Reeves's Finding of Wineland contains fine photographs of all the vellum pages that give the various Vinland narratives.) According to Flatey Book saga, Biarni Heriulfsson, on a voyage from Iceland to Greenland in the early days of the Greenland colony, was driven out of his course and sighted new lands to the south-west.
The fact that there are discrepancies between the two versions as they appear in the Hank's Book and in the Flatey Book does not justify the overthrow of both as historical evidence.
That the "vinber" were mountain cranberries would explain the fact, mentioned in the Flatey Book saga, that Leif filled his afterboat with "vinber" in the spring, which is possible with the cranberries, as they are most palatable after having lain under the snow for the winter.