From childhood his noble mind was characterized by the desire for wisdom, more than anything else. He was a careful listener and at that time he used to learn English poems by heart, memorizing them from recitals. One day his mother, showing him and his brothers a book of English poetry, said: 'I shall give this book to whichever one of you can learn it the fastest'. Then aged only five or six, Alfred, was attracted by the beauty of the first letter, which was illuminated. He at once took the book from her hand, went to his teacher, and learnt it by heart.
Then he took it back to his mother and recited it, thus winning the book from his brothers, who though older, did not show the same abilities as Alfred.
In when Alfred was aged four, he was taken to Rome on pilgrimage, accompanied by a company of nobles and servants. His father was unable to accompany him, as he had long wished, because of the heathen raids. He made him a Roman consul, girding him with a sword and arraying him in a cloak of white and purple, showing him great honour, awarding him a spiritual kingship. In Alfred's father, the newly-widowed King Ethelwulf, was at last able to venture to Rome, accompanied by Alfred.
Here at the tombs of the martyrs the English King no doubt prayed for the salvation of his land. Now aged six, on this second visit, the orphan Alfred remained in Rome a whole year. All of this must have made a great impression on the young boy. On returning to England, his fifty-year-old father was remarried for political reasons, to the thirteen-year-old Judith, the daughter of Charles the Bald, King of the Franks.
The two Kings no doubt wished to seal in this way an alliance against the heathen who, together with the Saracens in Italy, were menacing all Europe. However, Ethelwulf died only two years after this marriage, which turned out to be highly imprudent, in January Alfred showed great practical ability, skill and success in every branch of hunting.
Here he learnt something of the beauty and mysteries of nature, for Alfred was spiritually gifted too. Since he had to wait until the age of twelve before he began to learn how to read and write, he also learnt the daily services of the hours and many psalms and prayers by heart. These he collected in a single book, which he kept by him day and night, into adulthood. He would have liked to pursue studies but at that time there were no scholars at the Wessex court.
This was a matter of no little regret to him in later life. Then he was to have little time for education, whereas in childhood and boyhood he could have learnt so much more, had the instruction been available. It is said that Alfred showed great devotion to the saints, for example St Cuthbert. Certainly he knew many of the churchmen of the day, for instance Bishop Elstan of Sherborne, and perhaps especially the future St Swithun of Winchester who was his father's spiritual father.
Bishop of the Wessex city of Winchester from , Swithun had been King Ethelwulf's teacher as a child. It was said that it was the humble and mild Bishop Swithun who inspired Ethelwulf to leave one tenth of all his lands to the Church when he died. From childhood Alfred used to visit the shrines and revere the relics of the saints and was given over to prayer and alms. But he is also said to have suffered from an illness, which he feared might be blindness or leprosy. One story, which may or may not be true, tells us that once, when out hunting at what is now St Neot in Cornwall, Alfred stopped at the church of St Gwinear.
Here he prayed for his healing from this painful illness which was afflicting him. He prayed that it might be replaced by a less crippling and unseen illness, which would not make him useless to the Kingdom. His prayer was granted with healing, but later, as we shall see, he was to be afflicted with the new illness. As Alfred grew up, political changes were happening around him. As we have already said, in the s and s the heathen Danes had begun attacks all over England, especially to the east in Kent, Essex and East Anglia, but also in Devon.
In the Kingdom of Wessex, combining its heartland of south-west England with all the south-east, joined its might with that of Mercia to face the ever-growing menace of the heathen Vikings. Thus, in the spring of Alfred's sister married the King of Mercia. Faced by the pagan menace of one fleet of up to ships, the two historic Kingdoms now worked as one, but with Wessex dominant. The raids continued into the s and great armies of thousands of Vikings, mainly Danes, began to settle in England, posing new problems.
Alfred's father, King Ethelwulf, had been succeeded amid great controversy in by his rebellious son, Ethelbald, but he had died only two and a half troubled years later in He in turn was succeeded by the next son, Ethelbert, who brought a measure of unity to the Kingdom of Wessex after the foolishness of his elder brother.
That year marked a victory for the men of Wessex against the heathen Vikings, who had laid waste their capital, the city of Winchester. The heathen turned their attention once more to Kent, the eastern part of which they pillaged in Unfortunately, after a reign of peace, love and honour, Ethelbert died after only five years. Thus in he was succeeded by the next brother, Ethelred.
Now the heathen were showing ever more daring. Having conquered Northumbria in , they were about to enter East Anglia with their 'Great Army' and ransack its monasteries. It was at this time that Alfred, heir to the throne, ably seconded his brother King Ethelred, supporting him in great feats of arms. In , when he was nineteen, Alfred married Elswith, the daughter of a Mercian nobleman. Unfortunately, it is said that Alfred was struck down by a mysterious and painful illness on his wedding-day.
Some have speculated that it may have been a bladder infection or else kidney stones. In any case he was to suffer great pain from it for most of the rest of his life.
Elswith, his wife, was to bear several children, of whom five lived into adulthood. In that same year the heathen Vikings went down from Northumbria and headed for Mercia and Nottingham. Here the young Alfred defended the town side by side with the future saint, King Edmund of East Anglia, whom the heathen were to martyr in November Here the English Christians were victorious in a skirmish at Englefield, but lost in attacking the Danes at Reading.
On 8 January a major battle took place at 'Ashdown' on the Berkshire hills and here too Alfred distinguished himself, and was shown to be a greater leader with more initiative and daring than his brother, King Ethelred. At Ashdown the heathen were routed by the English Christians. Two weeks later, however, in January , the English were defeated at nearby Basing. Towards the end of March another battle near Marlborough in Wiltshire was lost and in addition in April a new heathen 'summer-army' arrived from Europe to reinforce the victorious one already there.
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The scene was set for a new and heroic period in England's history - and a new and heroic leader. Alfred the Great in 'On the Consolation of Philosophy'. Soon after Easter the pious King Ethelred died and Alfred inherited the kingdom. He was to reign, now as 'King of Wessex', but eventually as 'King of the English', from to This was an unexpected and extraordinary destiny for the youngest and sickliest of five sons. Only a few years earlier nobody could have imagined that one day Alfred would have come to the throne. Fewer still could have imagined that the young Alfred would take part in a Great War against the heathen, lasting for years.
And there would be a time when even fewer would imagine that Alfred could possibly emerge victorious from that war. Indeed Alfred himself could not have been enthusiastic at the prospect of being King of a land under such dire threat. As he was to write much later in his version of 'On the Consolation of Philosophy': 'Covetousness and the greatness of this earthly power never will please me, nor did I altogether very much yearn after this earthly authority'.
Surpassing all his brothers in wisdom, good habits and prowess as a warrior, the new King, aged only twenty-two, was very popular. Although he continued to fight vigorously, Alfred knew that his army had been weakened by previous losses; in humility he knew that only divine help could aid him. It is said that no fewer than nine battles were fought against the heathen in The King rode with his army against the pagans, inflicting losses but also suffering losses.
A month after his accession at Wilton in Wiltshire, the English sustained a great loss against the heathen. His army exhausted, Alfred paid them a ransom or 'danegeld' to leave Wessex and between and , the Vikings gave Wessex a period of relative peace. During this time Alfred began to organize an army and also a navy. In the Vikings occupied London.
From there by they reduced all Mercia and Northumbria the Midlands and the North of England to their authority. With East Anglia and the rest of eastern and northern England under their sway, they even ravaged the south of Scotland. In all England only Wessex remained under Christian control and in , Alfred, who had restored something of the strength of his Kingdom, fought a naval battle against six heathen ships and was victorious. However, in autumn , the heathen left their base in Cambridge and embarked on their second invasion of Wessex. They came to Wareham in Dorset and then went on to Exeter in Devon.
Here they had gathered a fleet of ships in order to finish off Wessex, but it was wrecked in a storm off Swanage. The heathen constantly broke their oaths to leave Wessex and slaughtered and ravaged everywhere they went. From here they crossed into Gloucester in the south of Mercia in but just after Twelfth Night in January they moved in a surprise attack to the royal estate in Chippenham in Wiltshire. As usual they pillaged the churches, destroyed opposition and the people of that area submitted to their authority.
Wessex had all but collapsed. Now had come the third heathen invasion of Wessex and the lowest point of Alfred's life. He and a small band of his most trusted and able men were forced to lead a nomadic life in sorrow and unrest among the woods and fen fastnesses of the marshes of Somerset. He and his men had nothing to live off and were obliged to forage from local peasants. Stories from this period, like that of the burnt cakes, passed into folklore.
It seemed as though all were lost. After Easter, in late March , Alfred and his company retreated through the alder forests and reedy marshes to the strategic island of Athelney, meaning the 'island of the princes'. This may have been a hunting-lodge of the princes of Wessex, or it may have taken its name from that time, when Alfred made it into a family stronghold for the princes of the Royal House. For on this island, a low hill of some thirty acres, surrounded by marsh and thicket with a well-protected causeway, Alfred built a fortress.
This was to be the ark of salvation for Christian England. For seven weeks, from his flood-encircled isle, Alfred prepared and plotted a counter-attack and began to harry the heathen. He sent out messengers to plan a concerted campaign against the heathen. It is said that his spiritual father, the holy hermit Neot, who had died shortly before these events, appeared to him in a vision, assuring him of victory.
St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, whom Alfred had always greatly honoured, also appeared to him as a pilgrim, asking for food. Alfred set aside half of all that he had, but when a servant took him the food, the mysterious guest had vanished.
Moved by the King's generosity, St Cuthbert then worked a miracle for him and appeared to him in a vision, giving him advice on how to defeat the heathen and promising him victory and future prosperity with the words: 'All Albion is given to you and your sons'.
Some time before Easter a fleet of twenty-three Viking ships had attacked north Devon at Countisbury and facing organized resistance, they suffered a great defeat, losing over men. With the threat of heathen attack from the west passed, now Alfred would be free to attack to the east. After the Feast of the Ascension in early May , at 'Egbert's Stone', somewhere near Stourton on the Somerset-Wiltshire border, Alfred and his men went out and met up with other loyal forces from three shires.
It is recorded that thousands gathered and, 'when they saw the King, they received him like one risen from the dead, after so many sorrows, and they were filled with great joy'. This memorable scene, when spring was at its greenest, was the sign which gave hope and strength to the Christian cause.
The next morning at Edington in Wiltshire, then called 'Ethandune', and actually on the uplands above Edington, Alfred fought fiercely against the whole heathen 'Great Army'. Here he won a victory 'by God's will'. It is reckoned that up to some eight thousand men fought one another. This battle in was the turning point not only of English history, but also of early Western European history. This was the victory of right over wrong; here the White Christ overcame the Norse Odin, cynical, ruthless and deceitful.
Alfred had saved the Kingdom of England and given new hope for the survival of all Christian civilization in Western Europe. Alfred had stood alone in Europe and unaided had vanquished those who elsewhere were considered unvanquishable. He had saved Wessex and in so doing he had saved England, and in saving England, he had saved Western Europe from becoming a heathen power. A little island had given birth to a great man. Alfred pursued the heathen to their stronghold at Chippenham and seized all that they had, horses and cattle, and then laid siege.
After two weeks the heathen, cold, hungry and fearful, made a peace-treaty. They swore that they would leave the Kingdom at once. In victory Alfred now showed his true greatness. He did not slaughter his former enemy like the murderous Charlemagne, but he fed them. Wisdom took the place of the sword; Alfred had defeated his enemies, but did not make enemies. He had overcome barbarism without becoming barbaric. Showing true Christian virtue and statesmanship, Alfred knew that the only real conquest is the conquest of the heart.
As Churchill, emulating Alfred, said over a thousand years later: 'In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity; in peace, good will'. Three weeks later at Aller in Somerset together with some thirty of his leading men, Guthrum, the Danish King, received baptism taking the noble English name 'Athelstan', with Alfred standing as his godfather. After eight days, as is the tradition, he had the holy oil or chrism removed at the nearby royal estate at Wedmore and King Alfred, his conqueror and godfather, feasted with him and honoured him with gifts.
Alfred's victory here discouraged yet another heathen fleet which had arrived in the Thames from seeking its fortune. They turned away from England to Europe. In the Danes left Chippenham and moved north to Mercia. In the following year they left for East Anglia where they began to settle. It was now time to turn from war to peace, restoring the spiritual and moral health of the English, re-establishing the civilization and ordered government of Christian England after the destruction of the heathen.
Without these tools no king can do work'. Amid the assaults on his Kingdom and all England by the heathen, and amid his bodily infirmities, the King had not laid aside his other duties. That he was no mere warrior-king is proved by the next period of his life. With the heathen gone to Europe, he now had the long-awaited opportunity to prove his true greatness, embarking on a programme of military, civil, cultural and spiritual reform of his Kingdom - all the south-western half of England. Although now at peace, Alfred next spent time reforming royal government and organizing a standing army, a Home Guard, in order to protect England from any future heathen assaults.
Throughout the land that he ruled, he began to set up a system of thirty fortified towns or 'burhs', garrisoned by local men in a reorganized army. His wish was that nobody would live more than twenty miles from such a fortified town. Since these towns were to be manned from the areas surrounding them, Alfred thus helped establish new 'shires', that is land from which garrisons for these burhs could be drawn.
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This is particularly clear in the cases of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Some of the boundaries of these shires, fixed at this time and immediately after, remain to this day. In this way, if ever the heathen attacked again, as they would, the Christians would be protected. Although it was his son, Edward the Elder, who completed this programme of towns encircling Wessex, it had started under Alfred. In he set about rebuilding London and many other towns which he planned in grids of streets. He also paid attention to the building of royal halls of wood and stone.
Neither did Alfred forget that the heathen had come by sea. The only way to defeat them was therefore to build up a 'ship-army', that is a navy. Already in Alfred was able to launch a naval attack on four Viking ships, capturing two and forcing the surrender of the other two. In , when the heathen besieged Rochester in Kent, King Alfred came to the rescue and the enemy fled to Europe. However, they had been joined by heathen from East Anglia who were tempted into breaking their peace with Alfred. Therefore in the same year Alfred attacked the heathen in East Anglia with a fleet of ships in the mouth of the River Stour.
Here, although many Viking ships were captured or destroyed by the Christians, the heathen finally won the day. Having started tentatively, eventually in the s, Alfred came to order longships of his own design to be built, twice as long as the Danish ones, with sixty oars and more. These first ships were swifter and higher than the enemy's, though less manoeuvrable. This navy was to prove its worth and by the beginning of his son's reign in the next century, England would possess a navy of over a hundred ships. In , after a siege, Alfred took London back from the heathen.
He made governor of this traditionally Mercian city his new son-in-law, Ethelred of Mercia, by whose marriage he had forever sealed the alliance between Wessex and its former rival Mercia. Next he drew up a treaty with his godson, Athelstan-Guthrum, defining a border between English England and the Danelaw, consisting of Essex, East Anglia and a large part of Mercia.
This brought some seven years of peace. It was only after Athelstan-Guthrum's death in and his burial at Hadleigh in Suffolk that the Danes dared attack Alfred once more. As a result of these moves, Alfred received the recognition of all the English outside the Danelaw. This was a historic moment; for the first time there was one King of all free England, of Englishkind, giving all free English people a common identity for the first time.
Very wisely, Alfred was also much occupied with the building of good relations with other countries, both near and far. He needed friends and they needed him. First he started with the Welsh, then the Northumbrians. Even in the Danelaw, he had influence, for he was 'Ruler over all Christians in Britain'. Alfred received embassies from many countries and, as we shall see, he had friendly relations with Irish, Scandinavians, Frisians, Franks, Gauls, Bretons.
He cultivated relations with Flanders and indeed his daughter was to marry the Count of Flanders. Alfred's hospitality and generosity to foreign travellers was legendary. Always the deep thinker, Alfred considered that the source of all the problems of England was not political, civil and military, but spiritual and moral. He believed that the heathen invasions had happened because of Christian England's spiritual decline during the late eighth and ninth centuries. The heathen men had come as a punishment for English decadence and unworthiness, ignorance and materialism.
Alfred therefore struck at the heart of the problem and instituted a rebirth of religion and learning, which was to be enshrined in the revival of monasticism, culture and the law. Only this spiritual rebirth and cultural renaissance could ensure peace, respect for authority, morality and prosperity in the future.
Just as he had saved Christian England militarily, Alfred now set about saving English Christendom through piety and learning. Thus Alfred personally directed and set an example for the affairs of his Kingdom. He went to the divine services and the communion service every day. He took part in the reading of certain psalms and prayers in the daytime and at night. He listened while the Scriptures and other books were read aloud and learned by heart.
Later he was to begin a translation of the psalms, which survives. He continued his habits of almsgiving and charity to the poor and showed immense generosity and hospitality to native people and foreign visitors. He cherished his bishops and clergy, his nobles and servants. Alfred especially regretted the lack of divine learning and knowledge. The extraordinary ignorance of Latin among clergy is well-known.
In this respect Alfred resembled King Solomon of old who came to despise the things of this world and sought for the Wisdom of God. The Lord heard Alfred's prayer and supplied him with learned men. Then also from Mercia there came Plegmund, later to be Archbishop of Canterbury and to be venerated as a saint, and also the priests Athelstan and Werwulf.
Spending time with these four constantly, Alfred later sought new instructors from overseas. Showing great curiosity in the acquisition of new religious knowledge, Alfred wished to restore learning in general. He set an example by personally learning Latin over a period of about five years between and This began on St Martin's Day, 11 November Then aged thirty-nine, Alfred was beginning an apprenticeship. As we shall see, eventually aided by his scholars, he was to become a translator from Latin into English of essential works from the early Church for the benefit of the faithful. This idea started from Alfred's handbook of quotations, which he had kept from his youth.
Alfred also gave instructions to the sons of the people who spent time with the King, loving them no less than his own children. Of this he later wrote in his foreword to 'Pastoral Care': 'Let all the free-born youth now in England and who are able be set to learning'. The importance of his cathedral-schools he set up for this purpose should not be underestimated in shaping the next generation of the English elite. Alfred encouraged craftsmen who designed new treasures and paid much attention to the adornment of churches with gold and silver. Alfred was also, it seems, something of a church architect.
He began a programme of building in stone, importing builders and craftsmen from Europe. One historian of church architecture, E. Fisher, has pointed out that the result was a new beginning in English church architecture. Although based on European motifs, it was by no means a copy of a foreign style, but a truly national development, which continued right until the Norman Conquest. Throughout that period Alfred sent alms to Rome virtually every year. Later, from about , relations started to become strained as Rome and the Papacy declined into political chaos and decadence.
At this time Alfred was also in written contact with the Church further afield too. It is recorded that Alfred sent alms to both Patriarch Elias and 'to India'.
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This may have meant Syria, but could actually mean even further east. In thanksgiving for his victory planned on the isle of Athelney, from where England had been saved, Alfred built his first monastery. Linked by a bridge with two towers to the mainland, it was square in plan with four rounded arches. It appears to have followed the plan of a Greek cross and was inspired perhaps by the church at Germigny on the Loire in France. Here Alfred brought artists and craftsmen from overseas and gathered priests, deacons and monks of several nationalities, so that his own people could relearn the traditions of monastic life.
Although his attempt to restore monastic life was to be unsuccessful here, it was at least to sow great seeds for the future. From the far north of France, in about there came the elderly but learned priest, Grimbald, and then from Saxony the priest John who became Abbot of Athelney. Both John and Grimbald were later esteemed to be saints. Other clergy also came from France, and even one convert from among the Vikings. Much of the territory north of the Thames River belonged to Guthrum. If the Viking king joined his forces with the Danes from France, Wessex may have been finally overwhelmed.
Alfred arrived with his army before the city fell, and the combined Saxon forces routed the Vikings, who fled precipitously, even leaving behind their entire horse herd. Again and again, Haesten, a Viking pirate leader, invaded Wessex. Again and again, he pillaged, was eventually cornered and besieged, and then managed to break free and retreat to safe territory.
After six years of peace, Alfred is dying. Ethelwold, son of a previous king and passed over in favor of Alfred, raises the standard of revolt. Individual words in italics generally have special meaning and the details may be found in Appendix I. I hope you enjoy the story. Aella: One of the rival claimants for the throne of Northumbria.
The ensuing struggle weakened both rivals so much that the Danes were able to seize the country. Alfred: The younger brother of Ambrose, Ethelbert, and Ethelred. He was an intensely curious man who wished to live the life of a scholar, but was chosen as king at the death of his brother, in AD. A great general, he drove King Guthrum, leader of the Viking Great Army , out of Wessex, but was then almost taken captive in a surprise winter attack.
Hiding first in Selwood Forest, and then at the island base of Athelney, he eventually started to strike back at the hated enemy. When his sworn men rallied to him in the spring, he was able to defeat King Guthrum. Somewhat surprisingly, he treated Guthrum generously and agreed to become his spiritual godfather.
After finding that fully half of the pirates were warriors sworn to King Guthrum, Alfred crossed the Thames and took London and part of Mercia. In Alfred the Great, Young Edward, Alfred faced two invading Viking forces in the west while his son Edward and his son-in-law, Ethelred, took on invading army after invading army in the east and north. Ambrose the Dane-Slayer: Fictitious A product of the king of Wessex and a beautiful slave woman with royal Celtic ancestors, he was raised as an atheling , an Anglo-Saxon prince of Wessex. Kidnapped by Viking slavers as a boy, he was taken to Denmark and then fled to Norway and Sweden.
Pursued by the Danes, he joined Gunnar of the Rus Vikings, who sent him and his two companions, Phillip and Polonius, to trade on his behalf down the Russian rivers. Ambrose set up trading posts in Novgorod and then Kiev. Finally, he traveled to Constantinople as an emissary for the Kiev leaders.
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From there, he eventually returned to England to help his brothers fight against the Viking raiders. He and his friends became a legend when they first joined the Danish Great Army , stole a princess from a Viking stronghold in Ireland, and spied on the Vikings from France. In this story, he helps his nephew gain the throne, and then keep it. Other names he used in various escapades were Hamar and Canuteson. Andrew, Lord: Fictitious He is commander of the Scottish garrison, who met Ambrose when he and his friends arrived in Alba. Anwell: Fictitious He was the ealdorman of Cornwall who had previously made an alliance with the Danes in return for nominal independence.
Askold: He, with his cousin, Dir, were the Rus Viking leaders who left Novgorod to settle in Kiev , a city they felt was ideally situated to control the Viking-Slav-Byzantine river trade. Under their leadership, the Dnieper River region came under Varangian control, and they participated in an attack on Constantinople itself. After the attack, in an attempt to end the hostilities, they appointed Ambrose and Polonius to negotiate with the Byzantine Emperor.
Asser Bishop : A monk and then bishop who spent some time at King Alfred's court and was his biographer. He actually joined the court in AD. Canute: Fictitious Ambrose's Danish master, he treated the young Ambrose as an adopted son and arranged for Ambrose and his friends to be given refuge in Sweden when Phillip's life was threatened. Constantine II: was crowned king of Scotland in In this story, he refuses to send his young warriors raiding into Northumbria unless Ambrose, Polonius, and Phillip come to meet with him.
Eochaid: had been king of the united kingdom of the Picts and the Scots. He died in , and Constantine was crowned king. Eohric: King of East Anglia, he met with Prince Ambrose and promised not to get involved in the power struggle in Wessex, but later joined Ethelwold when, as king of Viking Jorvik Northumbria , Ethelwold seizes Essex and then plans an invasion of Wessex. Both leaders are killed fighting the Kentish fyrd at the Battle of the Holme.
Ethelred: The Mercian king who seized control of Western Mercia and eventually married Alfred's daughter. Though a king in his own right, he accepted Alfred as his overlord. In this story, he sends his fyrdmen to the border to intimidate King Eohric of East Anglia.
Ethelwold: Alfred's nephew and ealdorman of Dorset. His father was Ethelred, older brother of Alfred. Ethelred had been king of Wessex from AD. Ethelwold was resentful that Alfred was chosen by the Witan as king over him. When Edward is picked, he storms back to Dorset, kidnaps and marries a nun, seizes two of Edward's royal estates, then states that he would live or die there.
When Edward appears with an army, however, Ethelwold flees northward, to Jorvik. The Vikings there choose him as their king, and within a year or two, he is leading an army of Danes to Essex. The Vikings there submit, and the next year, in alliance with Eohric of East Anglia, the combined Viking armies invade Mercia and Wessex. Edward the Elder strikes back, sending his fyrdmen deep into East Anglia.
On the way home, the Kentish wing of his army was caught by a combined Danish force, and, although the Danes keep the field, both Eohric and Ethelwold are killed. Garr: Fictitious The husband of Cate, he died at the siege of Chester before the story began. Godric: Fictitious The young warrior dreng who rode with Ambrose years earlier. Now a duguo , he leads the troop of men pursuing Cate's killers.
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Godwulf: Fictitious Jarl and commander of the Viking squadron that stops Ambrose's ships heading for Scotland. Gretchen: Fictitious Was the daughter of Osmond, an ealdorman in Mercia, and distant cousin to the royal family of Wessex. Illustrated with many engravings in the text by Dalziel. E" , a pseudonym for Charlotte Maria Tucker, in attractive cloth binding.
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This work is a reworking of Aesop's fables, worked into rhymes for The first edition thus of this children's fairy tale, translated by Andrew Lang and originally written by Charles Deulin, illustrated by Amedee Lynen.
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The first thus edition of this work, being Twelfth thousand. With publisher's advertisements to the rear A facsimile reprint of the first edition of this collection of works by John Bunyan. With an introduction, giving an account of the work, by Rev. John Brown. A beautifully hand-coloured copy of Pierce Egan's popular comic work about the duo Tom and Jerry, illustrated by Robert Cruikshank.
Uncommon in the original publisher's boards. Uncommon in the The first edition of this charming children's work about a young baby boy names Pepito, written by Beatrice Cresswell, illustrated in colour by Kate Greenaway. A first edition of Lewis Carroll's novel set half in Victorian Britain and half in the fantasy world of Fairyland.
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This copy was a gift of the illustrator, Harry Furniss, and has this pencil inscription to front free endpaper: 'Given An uncommon facsimile of John Bunyan's collection of poems for children. First published in A collection of four volumes of Rudyard Kipling's short stories, with four volumes bound as one, one of the collections, 'The City of Dreadful Night' being the first edition.
A collection of A children's periodical from , illustrated throughout. For January to December This magazine was issued monthly. Comprising of novels from Mrs Molesworth, numerous articles and essays A charming collection of children's stories. Volume two in The Children's Library Series.
Illustrated with two full page monochrome plates. A lovely and charming work following the adventures of this cat, Peter. Very Clean internally and an unusual survival with the publishers' original paper covered boards. Peter the cat is based A scarce copy of this children's story by Stella Austin. Seventh edition. A charming and very scarce educational work for infant readers, illustrated throughout.
This work is a charming look at education at the turn of the twentieth century. This is a charmingly illustrated children's tale. A first edition of this memoir of Horace Walpole by Austin Dobson. Horatio Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford 24 September 2 March was an English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and Whig politician. He is now largely Jacobs was both a collector and publisher of English folklore.
He is responsible for some of the world's best known A collection of short stories for children. Illustrated throughout, with a frontispiece and eight additional plates. First edition in the original green cloth binding. Illustrations are by Rose Pitman. Written by the Countess of Jersey Lacking front endpaper, evidence of removal. France Hodgson Burnett was an English-American A novel by Alice M Mitchell.
This work is aimed at children and has been published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. It was published under the direction of the general literature committee. Illustrated throughout by A beautifully bound and illustrated first edition of this work by H D Lowry. Henry Dawson Lowry was an English journalist, short story writer, novelist and poet. Bound by Riviere and Son for Sotheran. First edition, illustrated throughout A children's novel by Samuel Rutherford Crockett.
Illustrated by Gordon Browne The first edition. In the original pictorial binding. This work is subtitled as 'An Improving history for old boys, Three novels of the popular Victorian author George Alfred Henty. Cloth bound with gilt lettering to spine and front panel, and pictorial design. Illustrated with several black and white plates and in-text illustrations. An illustrated first edition of this work on Children's literature. In this work, Tuer has gathered an expansive and broad range of stories and illustrations from children's books spanning hundreds of years. Each work included in the A scarce piece of children's fiction which originally appeared in "Little Folks".
With six illustrated plates by Stanley L. From the author of "Wolf-Ear the With numerous A scarce children's adventure story by the Shetland writer Jessie M. Saxby, who was born as a member of the famous Edmondston family, A fascinating collection and study of forgotten stories and illustrations from numerous children's tales, collected by Andrew W. Andrew White Tuer was a notable British publisher, writer A collection of stories and illustrations from numerous children's tales, collected by Andrew W.
With four hundred illustrations throughout. It was published in , and went on to become a popular children's book both This is an illustrated collection of music for children. Illustrated with drawings by Leonard Leslie Brooke, a British artist and writer and leading children's book illustrator at the turn of the century.
Limited edition, signed copy of The Scarlet Herring and other stories. Number six of 50 copies printed on to Japanese vellum, and signed A first edition of this study of children's books and stories. A scarce first edition of this collection of children's tales from Edith Farmiloe. Illustrated throughout with numerous plates and vignettes. A collection of tales of realistic wild-animal fiction by prolific author, Ernest Thompson-Seton First thus, the first edition of these tales in their own volume. This selection of stories A pocket sized edition of this children's book.
From the 'Dumpy Books For Children' series. Written by Eliza Fenwick, an English children's author. With illustrated endpapers. A collection of four volumes of Jungbrunnen fairy tales collected in a presentation folio and slipcase. With advertisements for other publications by Fischer and Franke, as well as additional details on illustrators of the volume.
Bound in cloth with stamped lettering and pictorial illustration. A Book for Middle-Aged Children. A collection of canine reminiscences. Richard John Lloyd With decorative capitals The children's book which gave Hilarie Belloc public acclaim. The Bad Child's Book of Beasts was originally published in and sold 4, copies in the first three months. The first edition of the second in E. Nesbit's Bastable series for children. Tom Gallon - was a British playwright and novelist. Gordon Frederick Browne With a bookbinder's label for James Galt and Co, Manchester, to the front pastedown.
A charming edition of this abridged version of Carroll's most famous work, with many coloured illustrations by John Tenniel. First thus. Collated, lacking frontispiece depicting the Cheshire An attractive little book of verse. With full-colour illustration to front board and four further colour plates, as well as three black and white drawings in-text. Part of the New Pleasewell Series. A red cloth hardback with a decorated front board and gilt lettering. This edition appears to be the first US edition.
On the reverse of the title A children's story set in Egypt, written in verse and illustrated throughout. All leaves