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Olaf the Glorious - A Story of the Viking Age by Robert Leighton
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The following narrative is not so much a story as a biography. My
hero is not an imaginary one; he was a real flesh and blood man who
reigned as King of Norway just nine centuries ago. The main facts
of his adventurous career--his boyhood of slavery in Esthonia, his
life at the court of King Valdemar, his wanderings as a viking, the
many battles he fought, his conversion to Christianity in England,
and his ultimate return to his native land--are set forth in the
various Icelandic sagas dealing with the period in which he lived. I
have made free use of these old time records, and have added only
such probable incidents as were necessary to give a continuous
thread of interest to the narrative. These sagas, like the epics
of Homer, were handed down from generation to generation by word
of mouth, and they were not committed to writing until a long time
after Olaf Triggvison's death, so that it is not easy to discriminate
between the actual facts as they occurred and the mere exaggerated
traditions which must surely have been added to the story of his
life as it was told by the old saga men at their winter firesides.
But in most instances the records corroborate each other very
exactly, and it may be taken that the leading incidents of the
story are historically true.
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