Ancient Mysteries Arctic/Nordic/Teutonic Danes, Saxons, and Normans

Danes, Saxons, and Normans

Danes, Saxons, and Normans
Catalog # SKU3686
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name J. G. Edgar
ISBN 10: 0000000000
ISBN 13: 0000000000000


Danes, Saxons, & Normans

Stories of Our Ancestors

J. G. Edgar

In the following pages I have endeavoured to tell in a popular way the story of the Norman Conquest, and to give an idea of the principal personages who figured in England at the period when that memorable event took place; and I have endeavoured, I hope not without some degree of success, to treat the subject in a popular and picturesque style, without any sacrifice of historic truth.

Large Print, 15 point font, 106 llustrations



With a view of rendering the important event which I have attempted to illustrate, more intelligible to the reader, I have commenced by showing how the Normans under Rolfganger forced a settlement in the dominions of Charles the Simple, whilst Alfred the Great was struggling with the Danes in England, and have recounted the events which led to a connexion between the courts of Rouen and Westminster, and to the invasion of England by William the Norman.

It has been truly observed that the history of the Conquest is at once so familiar at first sight, that it appears superfluous to multiply details, so difficult to realize on examination, that a writer feels himself under the necessity of investing with importance many particulars previously regarded as uninteresting, and that the defeat at Hastings was not the catastrophe over which the curtain drops to close the Saxon tragedy, but "the first scene in a new act of the continuous drama." I have therefore continued my narrative for many years after the fall of Harold and the building of Battle Abbey, and have traced the Conqueror's career from the coast of Sussex to the banks of the Humber and the borders of the Tweed.

For the same reason I have narrated the quarrels which convulsed the Conqueror's own family-have related how son fought against father, and brother against brother-and have indicated the circumstances which, after a fierce war of succession in England, resulted in the peaceful coronation of Henry Plantagenet, and the establishment of that great house whose chiefs were so long the pride of England and the terror of her foes.


One day towards the close of the ninth century, Harold, King of Norway, exasperated at the insubordination and contumacy of the chiefs among whom that land of mountain, and forest, and fiord was divided, vowed not to cut his fair hair till he had reduced the whole country to his sovereign authority. The process proved, as he doubtless foresaw, somewhat difficult and slow. Indeed, the chiefs of Norway, who were, in fact, petty kings, disputed the ground inch by inch, and Harold was occupied for so many years ere consummating his victories, that his hair, growing ridiculously long and thick, led to his receiving the surname of "Hirsute."

Even after having sustained numerous defeats on the land, the fierce chiefs-all Vikings, and, like their adversaries, worshippers of Odin-taking to the sea, ravaged the coasts and islands, and excited the Norwegians to rebellion. Harold, however, resolved to do his work thoroughly, went on board his war-fleet, sailed in pursuit of his foes, and, having sunk several of their vessels, forced the others to seek refuge in the Hebrides, where the exiled war-chiefs-many of them ancestors of the Anglo-Norman nobles-consoled themselves with horns of potent drink, with schemes for conquering kingdoms, and with the hope of better fortune and brighter days.

It appears that in the long and arduous struggle which gave him the sole and undisputed sovereignty of Norway, Harold had been faithfully served by a Jarl named Rognvald; and it was to this Jarl's timber-palace, in Möre, that the victorious King repaired to celebrate the performance of his vow. Elate with triumphs, perhaps more signal than he had anticipated, Harold made himself quite at home; and having, before indulging in the Jarl's good cheer, refreshed himself with a bath and combed his hair, he requested Rognvald to cut off his superfluous locks.

"Now, Jarl," exclaimed Harold, when this operation was over, "methinks I should no longer be called 'Hirsute.'"

"No, King," replied Rognvald, struck with surprise and pleasure at the improvement in Harold's appearance; "your hair is now so beautiful that, instead of being surnamed 'Hirsute,' you must be surnamed 'Harfagher.'"

It happened that Rognvald, by his spouse Hilda, had a son named Rolf, or Roll, who was regarded as the foremost among the noble men of Norway. He was as remarkable for his sagacity in peace, and for his courage in war as for his bulk and stature, which were such that his feet touched the ground when he bestrode the horses of the country. From this peculiarity the son of Rognvald found himself under the necessity of walking when engaged in any enterprise on the land; and this circumstance led to his becoming generally known among his countrymen as Rolfganger.

But the sea appears to have been Rolfganger's favourite element. From his youth he had delighted in maritime adventures, and in such exploits as made the men of the north celebrated as sea-kings; and one day, when returning from a cruise in the Baltic, he, while off the coast of Wighen, shortened sail, and ventured on the exercise of a privilege of impressing provisions, long enjoyed by sea-kings, and known as "strandhug." But he found that, with Harold Harfagher on the throne, and stringent laws against piracy in force, the rights of property were not thus to be set at defiance. In fact, the peasants whose flocks had been carried away complained to the King; and the King, without regard to the offender's rank, ordered him to be tried by a Council of Justice.

Notwithstanding Rognvald's services to the King and his personal influence with Harold Harfagher, Rolfganger's chance of escaping sentence of banishment appeared slight. Moved, however, by maternal tenderness, Hilda, the spouse of Rognvald, made an effort to save her son. Presenting herself at the rude court of Norway, she endeavoured to soften the King's heart.

308 pages - 8½ x 11 softcover

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