The Northmen in Britain covers the Northern immigration to the shores of Britain in the 9th to 11th centuries. This free eBook is a great way to cover this era in history!
Author Eleanor Hull was an Irish writer known for popularizing old Irish literature and folklore. She is also credited with making the English version of “Be Thou My Vision” into verse.
TWO great streams of Northern immigration met on the shores of Britain during the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries. The Norsemen from the deep fiords of Western Norway, fishing and raiding along the coasts, pushed out their adventurous boats into the Atlantic, and in the dawn of Northern history we find them already settled in the Orkney and Shetland Isles, whence they raided and settled southward to Caithness, Fife, and Northumbria on the east, and to the Hebrides, Galloway, and Man on the western coast. Fresh impetus was given to this outward movement by the changes of policy introduced by Harald Fairhair, first king of Norway (872–933). Through him a nobler type of emigrant succeeded the casual wanderer, and great lords and kings’ sons came over to consolidate the settlements begun by humbler agencies….
The intimate connexion all through this period between Scandinavia, Iceland, and Britain can only be realized by reading the Northern Sagas side by side with the chronicles of Great Britain and Ireland, and it is from Norse sources chiefly that I propose to tell the story.
And it is a great story she tells. Your students will not find it dry. Hull pulls from the sagas and folktales to tell the stories of:
- The First Coming of the Northmen.
- The Saga of Ragnar Lodbrog, or “Hairy-breeks.”
- Alfred the Great.
- Harald Fairhair, First King of Norway.
- The Northmen in Ireland.
- King Athelstan the Great.
- King Hakon the Good.
- The Saga of Olaf Trygveson.
- Murtough of the Leather Cloaks.
- The Story of Olaf the Peacock.
- Yule in the Orkneys.
And much more!
There have been various books covering the Vikings recommended for the younger reader. In our experience, where most most of these fell short, The Northmen in Britain excels, because of the writer’s background and the focus of her tales.
- Create a timeline of the major events. You’ll find the Chronology in the back very helpful!
- Create a notebook for the book. Include a written narration of each chapter.
- Learn more about some of the characters mentioned. Fifty Famous Stories Retold is one place to start.
- Find locations mentioned on a map.
- Learn more about the fjords.
- In The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin, a handful of adventurers set out to follow the voyage of St. Brendan. You’ll find much of the same territory covered. Great aside for the older student!
- The book ends about the time of King Harold and the Battle of Hastings. Learn more with The Bayeux Tapestry.