Burial Rites

Rósa is Natan’s former lover, Thóranna’s mother, and a well-respected poet throughout Iceland. Rósa is a married woman, and Natan lived at her farm with Rósa and her husband for a time, fathering Thóranna in the process. When Natan left, Rósa was upset, and she became intensely jealous of Natan’s later relationship with Agnes. Rósa is known for speaking in verse and for her moving poetry.
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Rósa Gudmundsdóttir Character Timeline in Burial Rites

The timeline below shows where the character Rósa Gudmundsdóttir appears in Burial Rites. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...crowd is not actually seeing her, but rather seeing the crime she represents. Agnes sees Rósa watching at a distance, and Agnes smiles. This makes the crowd furious, and people begin... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...of the rumors that Agnes caused Natan to end his affair with the beautiful, talented Rósa. Margrét notes that while Agnes’s dark hair is striking, she is not especially beautiful. (full context)
Chapter 5
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
Chapter Five opens with a poem that Rósa writes to Agnes in June of 1828, in which Rósa tells Agnes not to be... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
...who died, and Jóas, whose whereabouts are unknown to her. Agnes also tells him that Rósa visited her before to give her a poem, in which she berated her for killing... (full context)
Chapter 6
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...she did. Then Björn’s brother Ragnar and the farmhand carried Inga’s body downstairs, where Aunt Rósa cleaned Inga’s body. Rósa’s servant, Gudbjörg, cleaned the loft. Agnes talked to Gudbjörg about her... (full context)
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
...body and Björn’s brother passed around a flask. The farmhand fetched a priest, and Aunt Rósa told Agnes a story while the men talked with him. The men carried Inga’s body... (full context)
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...afford to keep her. Her foster brother Kjartan went to live with Ragnar and Aunt Rósa, and Agnes was given to the parish to be taken care of. (full context)
Chapter 7
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...Ingibjörg asks how she knows that. Agnes says that she learned this from the poet Rósa. The food finishes cooking and the women bring it outside, leaving Agnes in the kitchen.... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
Tóti asks Agnes if she writes poems, and Agnes says that, unlike Rósa, she does not brag about her poems. She tells him that Natan loved Rósa’s way... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...had no opinion of Natan at that point. María told her that Natan had left Rósa and bought his own farm near Worm’s. Natan had also tried to change his last... (full context)
Chapter 8
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
Chapter Eight begins with a poem Rósa wrote to Natan in 1837. In the poem, Rósa thinks of how happy she was... (full context)
Chapter 10
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
Chapter Ten opens with a clerical report describing Rósa’s response when asked to testify at court. Rósa declined to do so. Rósa told the... (full context)
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
Agnes wonders if she and Rósa could have been friends under different circumstances. Agnes had heard a lot about Rósa from... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Natan had invited Rósa inside, but Rósa said she only came to drop Thóranna off. Agnes was surprised and... (full context)