Ancient Europe Book List

Find fascinating historical fiction on ancient Britain, Scandinavia, and western Europe!

St. Brigid features prominently in Irish folklore and religious tradition; re-told for younger audiences and finished with expressive watercolors, this is a traditional tale children will cherish. Born a Christian slave child, on the night of her birth Brigid receives a mysterious prophecyfrom a Druid priest who claims the Christian God visited him. He gives Brigid a blue cloak, heralding her as the "mother to the new Ireland that is to come". Young listeners will be enchanted as they ponder if Brigid's dream of Bethlehem is only a dream or something more. Paperback.

A thousand years ago when the Vikings roamed the seas, led by their Norse gods, there lived a man in Norway called Erik the Red. He was able and strong but his temper was wild, and after a fight he was banned from Norway. So he sailed to Iceland. There he built a farm, found a wife, and lived in peace for a while. But then he began to quarrel and fight again, and it wasn't long before he had to flee from Iceland, too. Now Erik sailed off into the unknown sea toward the setting sun, and there behind a wall of ice he found a new land... Erik the Red had three sons. The one was called Torstein, the second Torvald, and the third was called Leif. And this is the story of Leif, Erik's son, who sailed with his father to Greenland, and who later sailed still farther west and found there the continent of America. Originally published in 1941, this oversized book is beautifully illustrated. Recommended for ages 4 to 11.

Beowulf is one of the world's oldest classics, and is the oldest epic in the English language. Retold in more modern prose, this translation brings the memorable adventures of the hero to life. FRom his rescuing of Hrothgar the Dane to his victory over Grendel and his saving the Geats from the horror of the dragon. 64 pages, softcover.

Barbara Willard has beautifully combined history and the Christian faith in this book. With a true storyteller's instinct, she has interwoven historical facts with an absorbing fictitious tale in such a way that eager readers will take delight in, and learn from, the great adventure of St. Augustine's mission to the land of the Angles (later England). The story centers on young Wolf who has journeyed many difficult miles from Rome to the land of his birth. He witnesses the historic meeting between the Saxon King of Kent and the man who would be known as St. Augustine of Canterbury. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

After Hiarandi is unjustly slain, his sixteen-year-old son Rolf is made outlaw by the same murderous neighbors. Rolf flees Iceland with his faithful cousin Frodi, only to be enslaved in the Orkneys by proud Grani. However, when the marauding baresarks arrive, master and slave alike must fight for their lives-and Rolf is the only man who can string the mighty Viking bow. Allen French's tale of Iceland told in the classic saga form, is an exciting story of Christian versus pagan values, forgiveness versus pride. The way Rolf comes to terms with his enemies in the face of injustice creates a suspenseful, thought-provoking book dificult to put down. By the author of "The Red Keep". Ages 10 and up.

See the creation and beginnings of the world as the ancient Norse saw it. These Norse sagas re-tell their creation legends of Odin, who crossed the rainbow bridge to walk among men, the mischievous Loki, and the days when men walked with dragons and giants. 271 pages, softcover.

The Shining Company by Rosemary Sutcliff is another riveting historical adventure that takes place in Britain during the eighth century. Loosely based on actual events, the storyline revolves around Prosper, the second son of Gerontius, whose life is peaceful until the day that Prince Gorthyn arrives with his hunting party. When Prosper makes a daring move during the hunt, it grabs the Prince's attention and he promises to make Prosper his shield-bearer when he comes of age.

Two years later, 300 princes are summoned to the king's fortress where they will prepare to fight the Saxon forces. Prosper with Conn his bondservant, leave to join Prince Gorthyn in training for battle. When the army must battle the Saxon's, Prosper faces one of the greatest challenges of his life.

When a Roman trading ship is wrecked off the coast of Britain, the only survivor is a small baby boy. Taken in by the local tribe and renamed Beric, he lives and grows up an outcast among the tribe---never fully fitting in due to his Roman birth. Once grown, he is sent out on his own to find his own path in the treacherous world.

In the rich turbulence of English history one day stands magnificently apart--June 15th, 1215, the day of the signing of the Magna Charta. On this day, the first blow for English freedom was struck and has forever affected the Western World. Here is the story of three true men, Stephen Langton, William Marshal and Hubert de Burgh, whose heroic deeds are set against those of the ever deceitful and crafty King John. The wicked deeds of this king gave rise to the illustrious Robin Hood and his "Merry Men in Lincoln Green," who roamed Sherwood Forest, robbing the rich and giving to the poor. King Richard the Lionheart, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, Peter of Wakefield and King Philip all play their part in this saga of adventure and intrigue which culminates at Runnymeade on a summer day in 1215. Recommended for ages 9 and up.

Winner of the 1943 Newbery Medal, this medieval-story has captured the imaginations of generations of readers. Adam is 11 years old and son of Roger the Minstrel. When his father disappears and his beloved dog is stolen, Adam searches the roads, fairs, and market towns of Medieval England to find them. An altogether breathtaking work of historical fiction, the story weaves together facts and lore, song and hymn, giving children not only a story that will stay with them, but an accurate picture of Medieval times.

Drem is a young boy during the Bronze Age in Britain who must kill a wolf single-handedly in order to be accepted as a man amongst his people. He must overcome his disability, a useless and withered arm, or else he will find himself exiled to the Half People, never to see his family or tribe again.
An ALA Notable Book and a Carnegie Medal Honor Book.

Ever since he can remember, Robin, son of Sir John de Bureford, has been told what is expected of him as the son of a nobleman: he must learn the ways of knighthood. But Robin's destiny is changed in one stroke; he falls ill and loses the use of his legs. Fearing a plague, his servants abandon him. Saved by Brother Luke, a friar, he teaches Robin how to swim and carve wood, about patience and strength, telling Robin that he must "find the door in the wall" to overcome his challenges. Winner of the 1950 Newbery Medal.

The Gothic cathedral is one of man's most magnificent expressions as well as one of his grandest architectural achievements. Built to the glory of God, each cathedral was created by the ingenuity, skill, and hard work of generations of dedicated people.

This richly illustrated book shows the intricate step-by-step process of a cathedral's growth. The plan is agreed on; the site is chosen; each craftsman's contribution is presented; his tools and materials are described. The details of the construction are graphically explained from the building of the foundation and the erection of the walls through the details of the flying buttresses, vaulting, and roofing, on to the completion of the towers and the casting of the bells.

The grandeur of the cathedral unfolds through the book until finally the reader shares with the townspeople of Chutreaux a sense of wonder at the power of their creation. Recommended for ages 9 and up. A 1974 Caldecott Honor book.

Read and discover the ancient Norse legends that have been passed from generation to generation. You will learn about the creation of the world to the vision of the Last Great Battle, with stories that are filled with adventure, danger, and heroes.

From the creator of exciting, historically accurate fiction for young readers comes this tale of loyalty and courage in 11th-century Britain. Wulf and his best friend, Beorn, fight bravely for their Saxon king - capturing castles, rescuing shipwrecked survivors, repelling Viking invaders, and fighting the Battle of Hastings.

Published for the first time! "Beowulf was Tolkien's lodestar. Everything he did led up to or away from it,"---The New Yorker. He first completed this translation in 1926, then corrected it over the years. The commentary consists of excerpts from a series of lectures Tolkien gave in the 1930s in order to clarify the book's vision. 448 pages, softcover. Mariner Books.

Return to the tumultuous days of the French Revolution with this captivating tale of adventure and courage. Join Harry and his noble friends as they're swept from their country estate to the riotous streets of Paris. Can Harry rescue the aristocrats from imprisonment and death at the hands of the mob? 246 pages, softcover.

This telling of Charlemagne's life is told through the view of one of Charlemagne's sons, Carl. The story gives a more personal insight into the family and private life of one of the most important people in founding the Holy Roman Empire. Through Carl's tale of struggling with the honor of being named his father's heir over the eldest son, Pepin, readers can find insight into the founding of Christendom. Barbara Willard, softcover, 183 pages.

Myles Falworth is only 16 but already he has a reputation as a strong and courageous knight. When his blind father is condemned as a traitor and is being hunted by a powerful earl who is close to the king, Myles' only thought is to defend his family's honor. But to challenge the king's champion could mean death. Will Myles risk his life to clear his father's name? 220 pages, softcover from Bob Jones University Press.

This stirring novel is set in the climactic months before the opening of the Third Crusade, called the Kings' Crusade. The Brethren is a classic tale of love and chivalry, unfolding amidst the touching story of two English knights who are in love with the same maiden. The devotion of these men is tested when their beloved is carried away against her will to Palestine and eventually to the court of the famous Muslim leader, Saladin.

H. Rider Haggard, best known for his timeless classic King Solomon's Mines, recounts in this tale the inspiring story of Lysbeth, a young Dutch woman forced to endure perils and tribulations of the Spanish Occupation's yoke and the Inquisition of the 16th century. The momentous events of her life unfold against the turbulent backdrop of the struggle for Dutch independence, led by William the Silent.

This enduring story of faith, love, and hardship is now presented in a newly revised and updated version for modern readers. Intense action, virtuous romance and the abiding faith of the characters stand out from the pages of this unforgettable novel. Recommended for ages 12 and up. Grades 8-Adult.

During the late 13th century, the people of Scotland groaned under the yoke of English tyranny---until two men, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, were raised up by God to fight for Scottish independence. Their motto? "God armeth the patriot!" This historic adventure is sure to make a lasting impression on your teenage readers. 258 pages, softcover from Christian Liberty Press.

History Spines and References