Havelok the Dane: A Legend of Old Grimsby and Lincoln


Read by Tony Foster

(4.7 stars; 32 reviews)

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 fulfillment 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) (8 hr 56 min)

Chapters

PREFACE 9:46 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER I - GRIM THE FISHER AND HIS SONS 22:43 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER II - KING HODULF'S SECRET 17:40 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER III - HAVELOK, SON OF GUNNAR 27:19 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER IV - ACROSS THE SWAN'S PATH 18:22 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER V - STORM AND SHIPWRECK 21:44 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER VI - THE BEGINNING OF GRIMSBY TOWN 17:26 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER VII - BROTHERHOOD 25:53 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER VIII - BERTHUN THE COOK 22:30 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER IX - CURAN THE PORTER 20:03 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER X - KING ALSI OF LINDSEY 22:43 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XI - THE COMING OF THE PRINCESS 21:44 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XII - IN LINCOLN MARKETPLACE 20:08 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XIII - THE WITAN'S FEASTING 23:40 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XIV - THE CRAFT OF ALSI THE KING 24:01 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XV - THE FORTUNE OF CURAN THE PORTER 20:33 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XVI - A STRANGEST WEDDING 24:04 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XVII - HOW THE BRIDE WENT HOME 22:41 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XVIII - JARL SIGURD OF DENMARK 20:37 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XIX - THE LAST OF GRIFFIN OF WALES 25:26 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XX - THE OWNING OF THE HEIR 18:27 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XXI - THE TOKEN OF SACK AND ANCHOR 28:18 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XXII - KING ALSI'S WELCOME 21:53 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XXIII - BY TETFORD STREAM 26:27 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XXIV - PEACE, AND FAREWELL 11:56 Read by Tony Foster

Reviews

Great fun! An entertaining saga expertly performed!


(5 stars)

A wonderful tale of England circa 600 AD. Danes, Vikings, conquest, calculation, a disguised prince, a beautiful princess, dreams and battles. Highly enjoyable and expertly read, complete with Scandinavian accents! Brilliant!

Fantastic


(5 stars)

Professional-level narration. The story itself is one of the best I have heard. You can tell by the details given that it was a man who knew seafaring and fighting who told it. Certain things can't be faked.

Another great read!


(5 stars)

Having enjoyed the reader's earlier recordings, I made a priority of downloading this. In my view, Tony Foster has surpassed himself and has given us a consummate version of an historical adventure story. Some audiobooks can be credited with re-creating the world occupied by their characters - in this case, early medieval Britain - and this is one. Listen and be transported back in time.

one of the best audiobooks I have listened to


(5 stars)

Excellent reader for this story! Would recommend.


(5 stars)

This is quite a legend brought to life by Tony Foster. The action never stops!

One of the best books and certainly the best reader on here.


(5 stars)

Wonderful Old Tale


(5 stars)

Great listen from an ancient text


(5 stars)

Very good and very well read!