HC Deb 23 May 1882 vol 269 cc1407-8

asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Why the publication of the Orkney Sagas in the Rolls Series has been delayed for six years after Dr. Vigfusson, the editor, has passed the sheets for publication; why Dr. Vigfusson, the author of the great Norse English Lexicon, was not entrusted with the translation of his own work, his translation having been put into the hands of Sir George Dasent, one of the Civil Service Commissioners; and, what, in the apportionment of the Parliamentary Grant for the above-named work, have been the sums paid respectively to Dr. Vigfusson and Sir George Dasent?


Sir, I have communicated with the Master of the Rolls upon this subject, and he has been good enough to furnish me with the facts of the case. Sir George Dasent, and not Dr. Vigfusson, was the original, and is now the principal, editor of the Orkney Sagas. Dr. Vigfusson was associated with him at a later date for the special purpose of furnishing the Icelandic text. This will explain how the duty of translation naturally falls to Sir George Dasent. I may add that in 1874, when Dr. Vigfusson was engaged, it was considered a doubtful matter whether his knowledge of English was sufficient to make it possible to employ him as a translator. The work has been delayed partly owing to the illness of Sir George Dasent, and latterly by the delay on the part of Dr. Vigfusson in giving certain information which he alone can furnish; but there is hope that the work will be completed before long. Both gentlemen are paid for their work at the approved rates. Dr. Vigfusson has received £474 2s., and Sir George Dasent £250 on account of the work now in hand.

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