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A Prince of Cornwall A Story of Glastonbury and the West in the Days of Ina of Wessex   By: (1856-1913)

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A PRINCE OF CORNWALL:

A Story of Glastonbury and the West in the Days of Ina of Wessex; by Charles W. Whistler.

PREFACE.

CHAPTER I. HOW OWEN OF CORNWALL WANDERED TO SUSSEX, AND WHY HE BIDED THERE.

CHAPTER II. HOW ALDRED THE THANE KEPT HIS FAITH, AND OWEN FLED WITH OSWALD.

CHAPTER III. HOW KING INA'S FEAST WAS MARRED, AND OF A VOW TAKEN BY OSWALD.

CHAPTER IV. HOW THE LADY ELFRIDA SPOKE WITH OSWALD, AND OF THE MEETING WITH GERENT.

CHAPTER V. HOW OSWALD FELL INTO BAD HANDS, AND FARED EVILLY, ON THE QUANTOCKS.

CHAPTER VI. HOW OSWALD HAD AN UNEASY VOYAGE AND A PERILOUS LANDING AT ITS END.

CHAPTER VII. HOW OSWALD CROSSED THE DYFED CLIFFS, AND MET WITH FRIENDS.

CHAPTER VIII. HOW OSWALD LOST A HUNT, AND FOUND SOMEWHAT STRANGE IN CAERAU WOODS.

CHAPTER IX. WHY IT WAS NOT GOOD FOR OWEN TO SLEEP IN THE MOONLIGHT.

CHAPTER X. HOW THE EASTDEAN MANORS AND SOMEWHAT MORE PASSED FROM OSWALD TO ERPWALD.

CHAPTER XI. HOW ERPWALD FELL FROM CHEDDAR CLIFFS; AND OF ANOTHER WARNING.

CHAPTER XII. OF THE MESSAGE BROUGHT BY JAGO, AND A MEETING IN DARTMOOR.

CHAPTER XIII. HOW OSWALD AND HOWEL DARED THE SECRET OF THE MENHIR, AND MET A WIZARD.

CHAPTER XIV. HOW OSWALD FOUND WHAT HE SOUGHT, AND RODE HOMEWARD WITH NONA THE PRINCESS.

CHAPTER XV. HOW ERPWALD SAW HIS FIRST FIGHT ON HIS WEDDING DAY.

CHAPTER XVI. OF MATTERS OF RANSOM, AND OF FORGIVENESS ASKED AND GRANTED.

CHAPTER XVII. HOW OSWALD FOUND A HOME, AND OF THE LAST PERIL OF OWEN THE PRINCE.

NOTES.

PREFACE.

A few words of preface may save footnotes to a story which deals with the half forgotten days when the power of a British prince had yet to be reckoned with by the Wessex kings as they slowly and steadily pushed their frontier westward.

The authority for the historical basis of the story is the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, which gives A.D. 710 as the year of the defeat of Gerent, king of the West Welsh, by Ina of Wessex and his kinsman Nunna. This date is therefore approximately that of the events of the tale.

With regard to the topography of the Wessex frontier involved, although it practically explains itself in the course of the story, it may be as well to remind a reader that West Wales was the last British kingdom south of the Severn Sea, the name being, of course, given by Wessex men to distinguish it from the Welsh principalities in what we now call Wales, to their north. In the days of Ina it comprised Cornwall and the present Devon and also the half of Somerset westward of the north and south line of the river Parrett and Quantock Hills. Practically this old British "Dyvnaint" represented the ancient Roman province of Damnonia, shrinking as it was under successive advances of the Saxons from the boundary which it once had along the Mendips and Selwood Forest. Ina's victory over Gerent set the Dyvnaint frontier yet westward, to the line of the present county of Somerset, which represents the limit of his conquest, the new addition to the territory of the clan of the Sumorsaetas long being named as "Devon in Wessex" by the chroniclers rather than as Somerset.

The terms "Devon" or "Dyvnaint," as they are respectively used by Saxon or Briton in the course of the story, will therefore be understood to imply the ancient territory before its limitation by the boundaries of the modern counties, which practically took their rise from the wars of Ina.

With regard to names, I have not thought it worth while to use the archaic, if more correct, forms for those of well known places. It seems unnecessary to write, for instance, "Glaestingabyrig" for Glastonbury, or "Penbroch" for Pembroke. I have treated proper names in the same way, keeping, for example, the more familiar latinised "Ina" rather than the Saxon "Ine," as being more nearly the correct pronunciation than might otherwise be used without the hint given by a footnote.

The exact spot where Wessex and West Wales met in the battle between Ina and Gerent is not certain, though it is known to have been on the line of the hills to the west of the Parrett, and possibly, according to an identification deduced from the Welsh "Llywarch Hen," in the neighbourhood of Langport... Continue reading book >>




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