You have graciously conveyed to me the intelligence that during the weary weeks spent far from his home—in alternate hope and fear, in suffering and mortal trial—a Prince whose memory all men must reverence, the Emperor Frederick, found pleasure in the reading of my stories: that "they interested and fascinated him."
While the world was watching daily at the bedside of your Majesty's Imperial husband, while many were endeavouring to learn courage in our supremest need from the spectacle of that heroic patience, a distant writer little knew that it had been his fortune to bring to such a sufferer an hour's forgetfulness of sorrow and pain.
This knowledge, to an author, is far dearer than any praise, and it is in gratitude that, with your Majesty's permission, I venture to dedicate to you the tale of Eric Brighteyes.
The late Emperor, at heart a lover of peace, though by duty a soldier of soldiers, might perhaps have cared to interest himself in a warrior of long ago, a hero of our Northern stock, whose days were spent in strife, and whose latest desire was Rest. But it may not be; like the Golden Eric of this Saga, and after a nobler fashion, he has passed through the Hundred Gates into the Valhalla of Renown.
To you, then, Madam, I dedicate this book, a token, however slight and unworthy, of profound respect and sympathy.
I am, Madam,
Your Majesty's most obedient servant,
H. Rider Haggard.
November 17, 1889.
To H.I.M. Victoria, Empress Frederick of Germany.
- Chapter I: How Asmund the Priest Found Groa the Witch
- Chapter II: How Eric Told His Love to Gudruda in the Snow on Coldback
- Chapter III: How Asmund Bade Eric to His Yule-Feast
- Chapter IV: How Eric Came Down Golden Falls
- Chapter V: How Eric Won the Sword Whitefire
- Chapter VI: How Asmund the Priest was Betrothed to Unna
- Chapter VII: How Eric Went Up Mosfell Against Skallagrim the Baresark
- Chapter VIII: How Ospakar Blacktooth Found Eric Brighteyes and Skallagrim Lambstail Horse-Head Heights
- Chapter IX: How Swanhild Dealt with Gudrudda
- Chapter X: How Asmund Spoke with Swanhild
- Chapter XI: How Swanhild Bid Farewell to Eric
- Chapter XII: How Eric Was Outlawed and Sailed A-Viking
- Chapter XIII: How Hall the Mate Cut the Grapnel Chain
- Chapter XIV: How Eric Dreamed a Dream
- Chapter XV: How Eric Dwelt in London Town
- Chapter XVI: How Swanhild Walked the Seas
- Chapter XVII: How Asmund the Priest Wedded Unna, Thorod's Daughter
- Chapter XVIII: How Earl Alti Found Eric and Skallagrim on the Southern Rocks of Straumey Isle
- Chapter XIX: How Koll the Half-Witted Brought Tidings from Iceland
- Chapter XX: How Eric Was Named Anew
- Chapter XXI: How Hall of Lithdale Took Tidings to Iceland
- Chapter XXII: How Eric Came Home Again
- Chapter XXIII: How Eric Was A Guest At the Wedding-Feast of Gudrudda the Fair
- Chapter XXIV: How the Feast Went
- Chapter XXV: How the Feast Ended
- Chapter XXVI: How Eric Ventured Down to Middalhof and What He Found
- Chapter XXVII: How Gudrudda Went Up to Mosfell
- Chapter XXVIII: How Swanhild Won Tidings of Eric
- Chapter XXIX: How Went the Bridal Night
- Chapter XXX: How the Dawn Came
- Chapter XXXI: How Eric Sent Away His Men From Mosfell
- Chapter XXXII: How Eric and Skallagrim Grew Fey
- Chapter XXXIII: How Eric and Skallagrim Fought Their Last Great Fight