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Wulf the Saxon

Wulf the Saxon

G. A. Henty

Update: 2020-04-22

PREFACE

  • Although the immediate results of the Battle of Hastings may have been of less
  • importance to the world than were those of some other great battles, the
  • struggle has, in the long run, had a greater influence upon the destiny of
  • mankind than any other similar event that has ever taken place. That admixture
  • of Saxon, Danish, and British races which had come to be known under the
  • general name of English, was in most respects far behind the rest of Europe.
  • The island was, as it had always been,—except during the rule of two or three
  • exceptionally strong kings,—distracted by internal dissensions. Broad lines of
  • division still separated the North from the South, and under weak Kings the
  • powerful Earls became almost independent. The enterprise that had
  • distinguished their Saxon and Danish ancestors seems to have died out. There
  • was a general indisposition to change, and except in her ecclesiastical
  • buildings, England made but little progress in civilization from the time of
  • Alfred to that of Harold. Its insular position cut it off from taking part in
  • that rapid advance which, beginning in Italy, was extending throughout Europe.
  • The arrival, however, of the impetuous Norman race, securing as it did a close
  • connection with the Continent, quickened the intellect of the people, raised
  • their intelligence, was of inestimable benefit to the English, and played a
  • most important part in raising England among the nations. Moreover, it has
  • helped to produce the race that has peopled Northern America, Australia, and
  • the south of Africa, holds possession of India, and stands forth as the
  • greatest civilizer in the world. The Conquest of England by the Normans was
  • achieved without even a shadow of right or justice. It was at the time an
  • unmixed curse to England; but now we can recognize the enormous benefits that
  • accrued when in his turn the Englishman conquered the Norman, and the foreign
  • invaders became an integral portion of the people they had overcome. For the
  • historical details of the story, I have only had to go to Freeman's
  • magnificent _History of the Norman Conquest of England_ , which I hope will be
  • perused by all of my readers who are able to obtain it.
  • **G. A. HENTY**