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King Alfred's Viking - A Story of the First English Fleet by Charles W. (Charles Watts) Whistler
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King Alfred's Viking
A Story of the First English Fleet
by Charles W. Whistler.



Preface.


The general details and course of events given in this story are, so
far as regards the private life and doings of King Alfred, from his
life as written by his chaplain, Asser. One or two further incidents
of the Athelney period are from the later chroniclers--notably the
sign given by St. Cuthberht--as are also the names of the herdsman
and the nobles in hiding in the fen.

That Alfred put his first fleet into the charge of "certain
Vikings" is well known, though the name of their chief is not
given. These Vikings would certainly be Norse, either detached from
the following of Rolf Ganger, who wintered in England in 875 A.D.
the year before his descent on Normandy; or else independent rovers
who, like Rolf, had been driven from Norway by the high-handed
methods of Harald Fairhair. Indeed, the time when a Norse
contingent was not present with the English forces, from this
period till at least that of the battle of Brunanburh in 947 A.D.
would probably be an exception.

There are, therefore, good historic grounds for the position given
to the hero of the story as leader of the newly-formed fleet. The
details of the burning of his supposed father's hall, and of the