Family saga

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The family saga is a genre of literature which chronicles the lives and doings of a family or a number of related or interconnected families over a period of time. In novels (or sometimes sequences of novels) with a serious intent, this is often a thematic device used to portray particular historical events, changes of social circumstances, or the ebb and flow of fortunes from a multitude of perspectives.

The word saga comes from Old Norse, where it meant "what is said, utterance, oral account, notification" and "(structured) narrative, story (about somebody)",[1] and was originally borrowed into English from Old Norse by scholars in the eighteenth century to refer to the Old Norse prose narratives known as sagas.[2][3]

The typical family saga follows generations of a family through a period of history in a series of novels. A number of subgenres of the form exist such as the AGA saga.

Successful writers of popular family sagas include Susan Howatch, R. F. Delderfield and Philippa Carr.


Film and television[edit]

Video games[edit]


  1. ^ Dictionary of Old Norse Prose/Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog (Copenhagen: [Arnamagnæan Commission/Arnamagnæanske kommission], 1983–), s.v. '1 saga sb. f.'.
  2. ^ "saw, n.2.", OED Online, 1st edn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, December 2019).
  3. ^ "saga, n.1.", OED Online, 1st edn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, December 2019).