The wooden holiday cabin, or hytte, is a staple of Norwegian life. Robert Ferguson, author of Scandinavians, explores the significance of a national icon in this charming, affectionate history.
Turf-roofed and wooden-built, offering fresh air, breathtaking views and peaceful isolation, the wooden cabin home – or hytte – is a crucial part of Norwegian national identity. In 2016, Robert Ferguson and his wife bought a piece of land high up in the Hardangervidda, and on it they built a cabin.
As the cabin takes shape, Ferguson learns how native Norwegians have married a new-found urban affluence to their past as a tight-knit rural community-nation, and confronts his own ideas about the dream-tradition of the hytte, drawing an affectionate but unsentimental portrait of Norwegian culture, society and landscape.
'Singular and captivating: the pursuit of a dream' Professor John Carey
'An uncompromising journey into the dark cold north, to reveal the warmth that comes from deep community bonds' Tim Ecott
'Scandinavians is a terrific read ... [It] reads like many 19th-century travel books, which also combined wonderful narrative description with bright speculation ... It's this approach that makes the book so thoroughly enjoyable' Literary Review.
'Ferguson stretches wide the fabric of history, his knowledge and insights in the process bringing the varied stories of the Nordic people vividly to life' Irish Times.
'Charming, affectionate ... Penetrating' David Aaronovitch, The Times