208 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-7710-1190-3




Photos by Roloff Beny
Reviewed by L.J. Rouse

L.J. Rouse was a freelance writer in Toronto.


How sad that this should be the last of Roboff Beny’s magnificent books. How splendid that it should be entirely worthy of the man and his art. Pamela Sanders, wife of the American ambassador to Iceland, is a wonderfully talented, often very funny writer. Together, they have created this oversize, handsome volume, which is every bit as readable as it is beautiful.

This pictorial tour of Iceland, with its stunningly bleak landscape, rugged architecture, and doughty inhabitants, is a tribute to the beauty of nature and the persistence of life in a most inhospitable setting. Beny has captured this setting in both black and white and colour. The black-and-white photographs, which seem entirely appropriate both to the stark, glacial subject matter and to the discerning portraiture of the Icelanders, draw particular attention to the monumental sculpture with which the island seems particularly well furnished. His colour plates, all the more stunning by way of contrast, are similarly dynamic.

Sanders, by her account, portrays the flavour of the island. Underlying this account is a running commentary by Beny; thus it is through both his art and his words that the reader is always conscious of his presence.

Icelandshould stand as a fitting monument to an artist justly acclaimed in his lifetime, who will not be forgotten.


Sanders, Pamela, “Iceland,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 17, 2024,