History of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, Vol. I (of 2)
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Scandinavia prior to the tenth century is the region of romance,—of the wildest legends. These are admissible into the severe domain of history in so far only as they illustrate national opinions and manners,—the noblest part of the study. For this reason, chiefly, more have been retained in the present volume than are to be found in any preceding work on the subject. Indeed, were they rejected, nine tenths of northern history must be rejected with them.
Another reason for dwelling on the earlier and more obscure events has been the wish to deviate as much as possible from a recent popular work in the “Edinburgh Cabinet Cyclopedia.” Two publications on the same subject, and designed for the same class of readers, would scarcely be required, unless they were distinguished from each other in their manner of treating it.
If the present volume be one of entertainment chiefly, the next will be one of instruction. The religion and laws, the manners and opinions, of the Northmen, will receive their due notice.