Havelock the Dane
Havelock the Dane is a story from English medieval romance centered on the theme of the persecuted heir and the cruel guardian. It first appeared as a narrative poem written in Norman French in the 13th century and may possibly have had a Welsh origin. There are many versions of the poem and it is included in the Matter Of Britain. Different versions also have different ways of spelling the names of the main characters and although there are differences in the story, they all share the same basic plot and final denouement.
The story reveals the attitudes towards social status of the times contrasting the differences between the social classes of the day. Royalty and nobility are examined for their righteousness and found wanting, while the lower classes reveal a steadfast acceptance of their own low place in society while displaying unquestioning loyalty to their lords. Great emphasis is placed on the acceptance of the value of hard work, loyalty and obeying the laws of God and King, especially towards the lower classes. However, it is the nobility that is revealed as greedy and corrupt.
Essentially, the narrative reveals the story of two young heirs; Prince Havelock and Princess Goldboru who were cruelly treated and had their royal inheritance stolen from them by their wicked guardians at the death of their respective fathers. After enduring much shame and hardship and a forced marriage they find love together. Eventually both their lost stolen rights are returned to them and Havelock rules over both Denmark and England with Goldeboru as his queen. Presented here is my version of the story of Havelock the Dane influenced by Maud Isabel Ebbutt and a number of other sources provided in the Bibliography, Attributions and Further Reading section.