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A Maid at King Alfred’s Court

341 pages
Library of Alexandria
Beautiful was the month of October in the year of our Lord 877. That part of merrie England called Wessex was covered, in this ancient time with a vast and extensive wood. Only where the broad estuary of Southampton Water divided the tangled woodland, and along the river Itchen, was there any break in the forest. Formidable were the wastes of Andred’s weald, and fortunate the traveler whose path lay not apart from the public roads. Hundreds of wide-spreading, broad-headed oak trees covered the hills and valleys, and flung their gnarled branches over the rich grassy sward beneath. Intermingled with these, sometimes so closely as to hide the rays of the sun, were beeches, hollies, and copsewood of various descriptions. The great trees were girt round about with mosses or wreaths of ivy that betokened their age, and their foliage was bright with the hues of autumn