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The Rival Heirs; being the Third and Last Chronicle of Aescendune   By: (1836-1890)

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THE RIVAL HEIRS:

Being the Third and Last Chronicle of Aescendune; by Rev. A. D. Crake.

PREFACE.

CHAPTER I. THE ANGLO SAXON HALL.

CHAPTER II. THE BLACK AND DARK NIGHT.

CHAPTER III. THE WEDDING OF THE HAWK AND THE DOVE.

CHAPTER IV. THE NORMAN PAGES.

CHAPTER V. A FRAY IN THE GREENWOOD.

CHAPTER VI. A REVELATION.

CHAPTER VII. FRUSTRATED.

CHAPTER VIII. VAE VICTIS.

CHAPTER IX. A HUNT IN THE WOODS.

CHAPTER X. EVEN THE TIGER LOVES ITS CUB.

CHAPTER XI. ALIVE OR DEAD?

CHAPTER XII. THE ENIGMA SOLVED.

CHAPTER XIII. "COALS OF FIRE."

CHAPTER XIV. THE GUIDE.

CHAPTER XV. RESTORED TO LIFE.

CHAPTER XVI. RETRIBUTION.

CHAPTER XVII. THE ENGLISH HEIR TAKES POSSESSION.

CHAPTER XVIII. AT THE ABBEY OF ABINGDON.

CHAPTER XIX. AN INTERVIEW WITH THE CONQUEROR.

CHAPTER XX. THE MESSENGER FROM THE CAMP OF REFUGE.

CHAPTER XXI. TWO DOCUMENTS.

CHAPTER XXII. THE CHAPTER HOUSE OF ABINGDON.

CHAPTER XXIII. "GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY."

CHAPTER XXIV. THE CASTLE OF OXFORD.

CHAPTER XXV. IN THE FOREST OF LEBANON.

CHAPTER XXVI. "QUANTUM MUTATUS AB ILLO HECTORE."

CHAPTER XXVII. THE FRIENDS WHO ONCE WERE FOES.

CHAPTER XXVIII. AESCENDUNE ONCE MORE.

PREFACE.

This little volume, now presented to the indulgence of the reader, is the third of a series intended to illustrate the history and manners of our Anglo Saxon forefathers, whom a great historian very appropriately names "The Old English:" it does not claim the merit of deep research, only of an earnest endeavour to be true to the facts, and in harmony with the tone, of the eventful period of "The Norman Conquest."

The origin of these tales has been mentioned in the prefaces to the earlier volumes, but may be briefly repeated for those who have not seen the former "Chronicles." The writer was for many years the chaplain of a large school, and it was his desire to make the leisure hours of Sunday bright and happy, in the absence of the sports and pastimes of weekdays.

The expedient which best solved the difficulty was the narration of original tales, embodying the most striking incidents in the history of the Church and of the nation, or descriptive of the lives of our Christian forefathers under circumstances of difficulty and trial.

One series of these tales, of which the first was Aemilius, a tale of the Decian and Valerian persecutions, was based on the history of the Early Church; the second series, on early English history, and entitled "The Chronicles of Aescendune."

The first of these Chronicles described the days of St. Dunstan, and illustrated the story of Edwy and Elgiva; the second, the later Danish invasions, and the struggle between the Ironside and Canute; the third is in the hands of the reader.

The leading events in each tale are historical, and the writer has striven most earnestly not to tamper with the facts of history; he has but attempted to place his youthful readers, to the best of his power, in the midst of the exciting scenes of earlier days to make the young of the Victorian era live in the days when the Danes harried the shires of Old England, or the Anglo Saxon power and glory collapsed, for the time, under the iron grasp of the Norman Conqueror.

Sad and terrible were those latter days to the English of every degree, and although we cannot doubt that the England of the present day is greatly the better for the admixture of Norman blood, nor forget that the modern English are the descendants of victor and vanquished alike, yet our sympathy must be with our Anglo Saxon forefathers, in their crushing humiliation and bondage.

The forcible words of Thierry, in summing up the results of the Conquest, may well be brought before the reader. He tells us that we must not imagine a change of government, or the triumph of one competitor over the other, but the intrusion of a whole people into the bosom of another people, broken up by the invaders, the scattered community being only admitted into the new social order as personal property "ad cripti glebae," to quote the very language of the ancient acts; so that many, even of princely descent, sank into the ranks of peasants and artificers nay, of thralls and bondsmen compelled to till the land they once owned... Continue reading book >>




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