192 – Alfred the Young

We’ve discussed Anglo Saxon propaganda, and what goes down in Anglo Saxon cities, now let’s get back to the main story. When last we checked in with the House of Wessex, King AEthelwulf had died, but thanks to his incredible fecundity he had a wealth of potential heirs. And the kingdom of Wessex, it was determined, would go to his eldest surviving son… AEthelbald. The fact that the new King AEthelbald had risen up in rebellion against his father only few years earlier was apparently forgiven….All water under the bridge. And then King AEthelbald married his father’s widow (meaning, AEthelbald’s own step mother, and the daughter of King Charles the Bald of Frankia… Queen Judith).

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  1. Regarding Alfred besting his brothers at poetry: He could have done this without being able to read; I did. When my older sister was trying to memorize a poem, I picked it up before her just by listening. She is only 5 years older than I, but 4 to 9 is a BIG development gap and was not yet reading. I can still recite the poem more than 60 years later, A.A. Milne’s ‘Vespers’ “A little boy kneels at the foot of his bed, droops on his little hands, little gold head. Hush, hush, whisper who dares, Christpher Robin is saying his prayers…” And on for many more stanzas of pure British treacle.
    It’s used to be called being a ‘high verbal’ and it’s why I don’t tweet. 140 characters is clearing my throat.

      1. The story has the ring of truth to it for me, becuase the contest was probably rigged. Osburh just wanted to give her little Elf a present, but decided to make him earn it so that he learned something, and would treasure the prize all the more. If so, then her plan worked spectacularly well. And the boy was too young to notice the fix.

        Probably his brothers did care about winning some book of poetry· OK it’s true that all books were valuable objects at the time, but princes are rich guys. They princes have lots of expensive things and a gaining just one more is not worth crossing Mum for.

    1. “It’s used to be called being a ‘high verbal’ and it’s why I don’t tweet. 140 characters is clearing my throat.”

      Hands down best reason someone has given why they don’t use twitter. So congratulations! You win the internet, but only for one day. :)

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