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of Æthelred to the death of Harthacnut, as so closely connected with my subject as to need a treatment in considerable detail. With the reign of Eadward the period of the Conquest itself begins. And I may add that I have done my best to throw some life into a period of our history which is full alike of political instruction and of living personal interest. That period is commonly presented to ordinary readers in the guise either of fantastic legends or else of summaries of the most repulsive dryness. I have striven to show what was the real political state of England in the tenth and eleventh centuries. I have striven also to clothe with flesh and blood the dry bones of men like Brihtnoth and Ulfcytel and Eadmund and our illustrious Danish conqueror himself. As in my History of Federal Government I ven

I tured to restore the Greek spelling of proper names, so I now follow the example of scholars like Kemble, Lappenberg, and others, in employing the genuine spelling of Old-English names. As they are generally spelled, they are a mere chaos of French and Latin corruptions, following no principle of any

kind. Æfelstán becomes “Athelstane," while Ædelred, exactly the same form, becomes Ethelred.” I do not however follow Mr. Kemble in retaining the obsolete letter 8. It seems to me as much out of place to write Æfelfryt in the midst of a modern English sentence, as it would be to write Adênê or Oeopompos. At one time I felt inclined to except those names which are still in familiar use,


like Alfred and Edward, on the same principle on which I write Philip and not Philippos. Were the English names, like the Greek, simply cut short at the end, there would be no difficulty in so doing. But it would be unpleasantly inconsistent to write Ælfric and Alfred, Eadwig and Edward. I therefore make a chronological distinction ; by the time of our post-Norman Edwards, the a had been dropped in contemporary spelling, and I write accordingly. The

of Normans and other foreigners, William, John, and the like, I give in their modern shape. Nothing could be gained by writing Willelm, Willaume, or Guillaume, all of them mere corruptions just as much as the modern English form. Names of places again I write with their usual modern spelling, because in them we have, what in the names of men we have not, an universally received and, allowing for some misconceptions, fairly consistent system. I except only one or two places, like Brunanburh, Ethandun, Assandun, of which the geographical position is more or less uncertain, and whose fame is wholly confined to the time of which I am writing

I have given two maps, chiefly founded on those in Spruner's Hand-Atlas. As in the maps which accompanied my History of Federal Government, any attempts to mark the boundaries of states whose boundaries were always fluctuating must always be more or less conjectural, and my conjectures, or those of Dr. Spruner, may not be the same as the conjectures of all my readers.

All such attempts

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must be taken at what they are worth and no more. For one such conjecture I am specially responsible. In the map of Britain in 597 I have attempted, by means of cross-colouring, to mark the extent of territory north of the Thames and Avon, which was West-Saxon in 597, but which I believe to have become Mercian in 628. In so doing I have followed the indications given by Dr. Guest in his papers

and local maps; but I believe that mine is the first attempt to show the results of his researches on the general map of Britain. In this map my object was to mark all ascertained places mentioned in the Chronicles, with the addition of a few from Bæda, up to the time of Ecgberht. In the later map of the English Empire my principle was to mark those places which were mentioned in my own history from the time of Ecgberht to the Norman Conquest.

I have now only to return my thanks to those friends who have helped me in my undertaking in various ways, by comments and suggestions, by the loan of books, and in a few cases, though very few, by verifying references to books which I had not at hand. At their head I am proud to place the two men who stand at the head of living students of English history, Dr. Guest and Professor Stubbs. I have also to thank Viscount Strangford for several valuable suggestions as to the early Celtic ethnology of Britain. My thanks are due also for help of different kinds to the Rev. S. W. Wayte, now President of Trinity College, to the Rev. John Earle, late Professor of Anglo-Saxon, to the Rev. J. E. B. Mayor, of St. John's College, Cambridge, to F. H. Dickinson, Esq., of Trinity College, Cambridge, to the Rev. J. R. Green, of Jesus College, a rising scholar to whom I look for the continuation of my own work, and to W. B. Dawkins, Esq., of Jesus College and of the Geological Survey. Mr. Dawkins I have especially to thank for much help in my investigations of the battle-fields of Maldon and Assandun, and I look to him for more valuable help still when I come to the greater battle which forms the centre of my whole history. And I must add my thanks for the kindness of every sort which I have uniformly received from the Delegates of the University Press, from one especially whose loss all historical students are now lamenting, my late learned and deeply esteemed friend Dr. Shirley.


January 4th, 1867

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