Alfred the Great: Makers of History
Written by Jacob Abbott--updated for younger readers!
Foreword by Brian Marr
Excerpt from the book: "A violent storm arose and broke up the bridge which he had built across the Hellespont. When news of this came to Xerxes at his winter quarters at Sardis, he was enraged. He was angry both at the sea, for having destroyed the bridge, and at the architects, for having not built it strong enough. He decided to punish both of them. He ordered the sea to be scourged with a monstrous whip and had heavy chains thrown into it, as symbols of his control over it. The men who carried out these orders were told to shout at the sea: “Miserable monster! This is the punishment which your master Xerxes inflicts upon you, for the injury you have done him. Know that he will pass over you, whether you like it or not. He hates and defies you, the abomination of mankind!” As for the men who had built the bridge, he ordered every one of them beheaded."
William the Conqueror is part of Makers of History, a 19th century biography series by two brothers, Jacob and John S.C. Abbott. Reprinted by Canon Press, these biographies have been edited and brought up-to-date for readers twelve and up. Not only are these editions given vintage style paperback covers, but they also include introductions that explain where these men and women fit into the timeline of history.