Based on photo by Odejea
- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Derwen Publishing (December 11, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 1907084223
- ISBN-13: 978-1907084225
- £6.99 / $10.99
Laugh out loud funny! These hilarious poems of fabulous facts and fiction are potted histories to read and read again that keep you laughing (and guessing!) long after you’ve read them. Hours of fun for children (if they can wrestle the book from their parents). From kings ‘plonked’ and ‘skewered’ to queens who can’t pass their ‘chariot driving test’, what’s not to love about this collection? The author has a terrific flair for creating historical rhyming verse in a format that is instantly engaging. I look forward to the sequel. Daryl Snelling, bookseller
In an age when English history is hardly taught in schools in the UK, let alone in other English speaking countries, this slim volume is likely to lift a corner of the dark curtain that covers the subject, and entice young minds once again to enjoy the (probably fictitious) accounts of Alfred burning the Cakes, or Canute ordering the tide back, and other anecdotes, whilst imbibing some worthwhile real historical facts. A nice psychologically grounded approach to making a potentially dull subject interesting to young minds. David R. Hill, Emeritus Professor, University of Calgary
Great verse! They would be good for schools… contain Hilaire Belloc touches. Tom Cox, former oil executive
Quite wonderful! Virginia Lloyd-Davies, former Publicity Officer to the Findhorn Foundation
King Canute was a Dane, or Jute,
a conquering king of high repute
less famed for having lived and died
than for a tale about the tide…
Tall, fair and handsome, with his fleet
he bludgeoned England to defeat
with Danish ships and Danish men
attacking once, twice, once again.
Denmark he ruled, and Norway too:
He never had enough to do.
He fought King Edmund Ironside
until, worn out, the poor man died.
He killed each foe and taxed each friend,
he doled out money without end,
spent thousands on a trip to Rome,
then taxed them more when he got home.
A Christian king, he was devout –
of that his subjects had no doubt.
He ruled them with an iron rod
until they placed him next to God.
Because he voyaged ceaselessly
to his possessions oversea,
his courtiers, seeing him wafted thither,
assumed he could control the weather.
They knew the nine-and-eightieth Psalm:
‘You rule the sea, its waves You calm,’
so thought that he could walk on water.
He chuckled when he told his daughter,
then laughed and roared, then roared and laughed:
‘Hee! Hee!’ he cried, ‘They must be daft!’
‘The wind and waves obey you, Sire,’
(they said, pushing the stakes still higher).
‘OK,’ he said, ‘let’s test your boast.
Remove my throne down to the coast.’
They took it there and plonked it down
and sat him on it in his crown,
stood back to see what he would say –
then, when the tide came, ran away.
‘Go back, you tide!’ he roared. ‘Avast!’
but still the water came in fast.
‘Away, I say! Stop rising… please!’
but soon the sea had reached his knees.
At length his courtiers, lest he drown,
dragged him ashore and dried him down
and, seeing the error of their ways,
gave up their endless shouts of praise.
Much drier now, he smirked with glee –
and died at length at Shaftesbury.
His bones (still dry) they would inter
in the cathedral, Winchester.
EXTRACT FROM TRUTHFINDER
KING CANUTE (born 995-ish,
Knut II, powerful king of Denmark and Norway,
who invaded England and made
Winchester his capital
his daughter about walking on water Probably
back the tide Probably not true
The book is now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other outlets, including your local bookshop (in the UK, try your nearest castle shop). Just click on the links below, or at the top of the RH column -->
[Plans to publish the companion volume, Tall Tales of Ancient Queens and Kings, are currently on hold: watch this space for further announcements...]