Off the coast, north-west from here, lies the archipelago called Lofoten. At the southern tip is the island of Røst, named because of its proximity to the maelstrom, Moskenstraumen (Old Norse rǫst means “maelstrom”).
(The maelstrom is, by the way, the one fictionalised in Edgar Allan Poe’s “A Descent into the Maelstrom” (1841).)
This text deals with the adventures of Isak, a poor northern subsistance farmer/ fisherman, who in a fierce storm is blown, not to Røst, but to the legendary isle of Utrøst, a land of abundance. He benefits greatly from his good fortune of having found the island, earning a boatload of grain and sailcloth, two new boats, and a preternatural guardian to look after him and his.
Peter Christen Asbjørnsen did not collect this legend on one of his collection tours; it was instead sent to him from Tromsø, and Asbjørnsen submitted it for publication in Norsk Folke-Kalendar in 1849.
I have removed the version of this text I posted previously. The new .pdf has been subjected to further copy-editing and includes illustrations. My introduction here is also new.