Maps Illustrating the Viking Invasions of England
Saga Book of the Viking Society, Vol.11 (1928-36)
The accompanying maps (I-V), which were prepared for lecture-purposes, may perhaps be useful to others who want to illustrate a popular account of the Viking invasions of this country. They must not be rated as anything more than schoolroom diagrams, but I have found them sufficiently useful to make their publication worth while, and I know that the student will not have any difficulty in criticising and improving them, should they be required for serious scientific work.
Map I A.D. 793-865. We begin with a period of casual and predatory invasion, consisting first of all of Norse raids in late VIII upon Northumbria and of attacks upun our south-western shores, and, secondly, in mid IX (834-64), of a sustained exploratory attack upon south-eastern England. This was the work of the Danes, who were simultaneously operating against Frisia, and took the form of a vigorous assault upon an easily reached and vulnerable highway into England, the Thames estuary. At the same time there were exploratory invasions of the three other principal water-gates, the Wash, the Solent, and the Bristol Channel. It is obvious that the Englishman of mid IX was living in real danger of the over-running and collapse of his country; yet it would have been difficult for him to have known from which direction he was to expect further attack.