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Havelok the Dane: A Legend of Old Grimsby and Lincoln-logo

Havelok the Dane: A Legend of Old Grimsby and Lincoln

Charles Watts Whistler

Troy, Athens, Rome... each has its founding legend. So too does the Lincolnshire town of Grimsby, once the largest fishing port in the world. Havelok the Dane probably derives from a folk-tale, orally passed down before assuming written form - first in Anglo-Norman French, later in Middle English verse (c. 1280-1300). It tells of the rescue of the Danish prince from a wicked regent, who has tried to procure Havelok's murder. Grim the fisher, the appointed hit-man, thwarts the plan by spiriting the lad to England, where Grim settles with his family on the coast, adopting Havelok as his foster-son and naming the new community after himself. C.W. Whistler's clever adaptation of the tale (published in 1899) draws on the various medieval sources. The English poem is particularly suited to 'novelisation'. It abounds in homely detail, and the hero's progress from half-dead waif to the triumphant fulfilment of his strength and kingly destiny makes a satisfying arc for the development of plot and character. At the same time, the legend's origins in oral performance are suggested through the choice of a first-person narrator, namely Grim's sober-sided son Radbard, whose plain-spoken account conveys something of the older saga tradition. Our reader, the gifted Tony Foster, has worked and travelled in Scandinavia. His subtly-inflected narration brings a truly Nordic flavour to this re-creation of life in sixth-century Britain. Since Charles Whistler published his novel, both Grimsby and its local heroes have been celebrated from time to time - by Elton John in his album Caribou (1974) and recently in a folk rock musical by local band Merlin's Keep (2014). (Introductory summary by Martin Geeson)

Troy, Athens, Rome... each has its founding legend. So too does the Lincolnshire town of Grimsby, once the largest fishing port in the world. Havelok the Dane probably derives from a folk-tale, orally passed down before assuming written form - first in Anglo-Norman French, later in Middle English verse (c. 1280-1300). It tells of the rescue of the Danish prince from a wicked regent, who has tried to procure Havelok's murder. Grim the fisher, the appointed hit-man, thwarts the plan by spiriting the lad to England, where Grim settles with his family on the coast, adopting Havelok as his foster-son and naming the new community after himself. C.W. Whistler's clever adaptation of the tale (published in 1899) draws on the various medieval sources. The English poem is particularly suited to 'novelisation'. It abounds in homely detail, and the hero's progress from half-dead waif to the triumphant fulfilment of his strength and kingly destiny makes a satisfying arc for the development of plot and character. At the same time, the legend's origins in oral performance are suggested through the choice of a first-person narrator, namely Grim's sober-sided son Radbard, whose plain-spoken account conveys something of the older saga tradition. Our reader, the gifted Tony Foster, has worked and travelled in Scandinavia. His subtly-inflected narration brings a truly Nordic flavour to this re-creation of life in sixth-century Britain. Since Charles Whistler published his novel, both Grimsby and its local heroes have been celebrated from time to time - by Elton John in his album Caribou (1974) and recently in a folk rock musical by local band Merlin's Keep (2014). (Introductory summary by Martin Geeson)
More Information

Genres:

Fiction

Description:

Troy, Athens, Rome... each has its founding legend. So too does the Lincolnshire town of Grimsby, once the largest fishing port in the world. Havelok the Dane probably derives from a folk-tale, orally passed down before assuming written form - first in Anglo-Norman French, later in Middle English verse (c. 1280-1300). It tells of the rescue of the Danish prince from a wicked regent, who has tried to procure Havelok's murder. Grim the fisher, the appointed hit-man, thwarts the plan by spiriting the lad to England, where Grim settles with his family on the coast, adopting Havelok as his foster-son and naming the new community after himself. C.W. Whistler's clever adaptation of the tale (published in 1899) draws on the various medieval sources. The English poem is particularly suited to 'novelisation'. It abounds in homely detail, and the hero's progress from half-dead waif to the triumphant fulfilment of his strength and kingly destiny makes a satisfying arc for the development of plot and character. At the same time, the legend's origins in oral performance are suggested through the choice of a first-person narrator, namely Grim's sober-sided son Radbard, whose plain-spoken account conveys something of the older saga tradition. Our reader, the gifted Tony Foster, has worked and travelled in Scandinavia. His subtly-inflected narration brings a truly Nordic flavour to this re-creation of life in sixth-century Britain. Since Charles Whistler published his novel, both Grimsby and its local heroes have been celebrated from time to time - by Elton John in his album Caribou (1974) and recently in a folk rock musical by local band Merlin's Keep (2014). (Introductory summary by Martin Geeson)

Language:

English

Narrators:

Tony Foster

Length:

8h 56m


Chapters

Chapter 1
Chapter 1

09:47


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

22:44


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

17:41


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

27:20


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

18:23


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

21:45


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

17:27


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

25:54


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

22:31


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

20:04


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

22:44


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

21:45


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

20:09


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

23:41


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

24:02


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

20:35


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

24:05


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

22:42


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

20:38


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

25:27


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

18:28


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

28:19


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

21:55


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

26:28


Chapter 25
Chapter 25

11:57