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Harold : the Last of the Saxon Kings — Volume 01 by Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton
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by Edward Bulwer Lytton

Dedicatory Epistle


I dedicate to you, my dear friend, a work, principally composed under
your hospitable roof; and to the materials of which your library, rich
in the authorities I most needed, largely contributed.

The idea of founding an historical romance on an event so important
and so national as the Norman Invasion, I had long entertained, and
the chronicles of that time had long been familiar to me. But it is
an old habit of mine, to linger over the plan and subject of a work,
for years, perhaps, before the work has, in truth, advanced a
sentence; "busying myself," as old Burton saith, "with this playing
labour--otiosaque diligentia ut vitarem torporen feriendi."

The main consideration which long withheld me from the task, was in my
sense of the unfamiliarity of the ordinary reader with the characters,
events, and, so to speak, with the very physiognomy of a period ante
Agamemnona; before the brilliant age of matured chivalry, which has
given to song and romance the deeds of the later knighthood, and the
glorious frenzy of the Crusades. The Norman Conquest was our Trojan
War; an epoch beyond which our learning seldom induces our imagination
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