Thorndike brings to life a romantic hero from English history who has been
neglected by historical novelists - Hereward the Wake. He tells the story
of the Fen Country and its greatest son with all the pace and excitement
of Hereward's own exploits. And what audacious exploits they were ! There
was his "invasion" of his native Fenland in a rowboat, his only
army being his faithful servant Martin Lightfoot, and his only welcoming
friend one single knight who believed as Hereward believed, that the
conquering Normans could be thrown back into the sea. Then the exploit of
raising an army inside in the Isle of Ely, and of holding it against the Conqueror
The courage and audacity of Hereward earned the respect of William the Conqueror, and the love of the Princess Arletine.
In the First Englishman there are all the thrills and atmosphere of underground warfare against the background of the wild and strange Fen country.
From the first winding of Hereward's war-horn as he galloped from village to village, his ware cry of " A Wake, a Wake" raising the spirits of revolt, to the tremendous climax, there is excitement and romance in plenty told by a master hand.
Rich & Cowan