The First Book of the Chronicles of Eoforwic
The Chronicle of Eoforwic of Etienne de l'Isle Including a short account of the history of Septentria
The Chronicle of Eoforwic of Etienne de l'Isle Copyright 1982 Steve Muhlberger. First edition June, 1982. Reprint November, 1992.
To Her Excellency, Lady Kaffa Muiraith, Baroness Septentria, Companion of the Purple Fret, Bearer of the Bear's Claw, this humble work is dedicated.
It is now more than two years, my lady, since Duke Finnvarr de Taahe promised you that he would write a history of Eoforwic. Ever since that time he has been much oppressed by the duties of his high estate. Being a man of his word, and seeing it so long unfulfilled, he has passed the obligation over to me, commanding me to compose a chronicle of Eoforwic as quickly as possible. I, conscious of my many debts to him, have done my best to comply.
I fear, my lady, that His Grace has given little thought to the difficulty of this task. A chronicler's duty is to reduce the history of his country and his time into a manageable compass. He must describe great deeds, noble men and women, and the various triumphs of vice and virtue, all in a little space. He has no leisure to indulge his own tastes and prejudices, and must eschew literary artifice, lest his work burst its proper bounds.
The chronicler receives little thanks for this labor. His judgement is questioned at every turn. He has left out everything of importance, men cry, and filled his book with trivialities: Where is the tale of this noble lord, and why is there so much about that absurd incident? They likewise sneer at his style: His work is a dry compendium, they say, with none of the charm of history, and it is entirely too long.
Nevertheless, my lady, I have attempted to do His Grace's will and provide you with a worthy and useful chronicle. For this account I have drawn upon several sources. The first of these is the Great Book of the Seneschals of Eoforwic, which has been kept so well over the years; second is a brief account of the history of Skraeling Althing, sent to me by the gracious Lady Aelflaeda FitzAlain and other gentles of that barony, which so recently was part of your own realm. Third are recollections of several kind people of this barony, especially those of Illtyd, who put some of (t)his in writing. Finally there are the extensive archives of my noble patron, Duke Finnvarr, which contain materials sufficient for many more histories. If, my lady, you find some error or omission, let it be excused, for I had not the time to do better. In particular, His Grace's steward would permit me to work in the archives only three days, and so I have had to rely in many instances on my fallible memory.
Copyright 1982 Steve Muhlberger