331 – Thoughts and Prayers

AEthelred, for the first time in quite a while, had a chance for a breather.  King Sweyn Forkbeard, having been paid a king’s ransom, had withdrawn his forces with a promise never to return. Furthermore, the Wulf dynasty, which had been a powerhouse in courtly politics ever since the 990s, was now all but wiped [...]

329 – Forkbeard

When you go to your local grocery store there’s a pattern. You go down your usual aisles, grab your bread, your tea, that thing you know you’re not supposed to eat but do anyway because it is delicious and you have no self control.  And then, when you head to the register, something happens. You [...]

326 – The Year 1000

It’s so easy to lose the forest for the trees. This show is a show about one small island which, even at this part of the story, is still at the edge of civilization. It is very easy to forget that there is a whole other world out there… and, it is a world that [...]

325 – From Bad to Worse

When we left off, England was reforming its legal structure. Now, law isn’t known for being a sexy subject...neither are lawyers for that matter. But law shapes our societies in ways that are so fundamental that they are often invisible to us. And these reforms are no exception. These codes go on to transform English [...]

324 – Law and Lawlessness

With the Scandinavian raiders gone, and with AElfric of Hampshire defanged, England was free to get back to work. And, as we saw last episode, this meant that the King was once again redistributing wealth from the have-a-lots to the have-even-mores. Which meant that the dynasty of Wulfrun, the upteen cousin AEthelbrads, and Mom, were [...]

323 – Brotherhood of the Wolf

And we are back! Thank you all for being patient while the BHP went on a brief parental leave.  And speaking of things that are back… The Dowager Queen AElfthryth has returned to the King’s inner council following what looks like a political coup against AElfic of Hampshire and his faction. And just because it [...]

317 – A Culture of Corruption

At 16 years old, King AEthelred was considered fully grown by Anglo Saxon standards. And as a bonus graduation present, the powerful Bishop AEthelwold of Winchester… who appears to have been the defacto head of state while AEthelred was a child… had died. With his passing, the power of the old guard had been broken [...]

315 – The Cracks in the Foundation

“Under AEthelred nothing was done; or, more truly, throughout his whole reign he left undone those things which he ought to have done, and he did those things he ought not to have done.”   That is the damning conclusion of  Edward Augustus Freeman, a Victorian historian, and epic beard grower.  

313 – How to Make a Martyr

“No man can make himself king, but the people have the choice to choose as king whom they please; but after he is consecrated as king, he then has dominion over the people, and they cannot shake his yoke from their necks.”   So reads the homily written by the famed writer, AElfric. He was [...]

311 – Team Edward

King Edgar the Peaceable was buried at Glastonbury in 975. But weirdly that isn’t the end of his story. William of Malmesbury tells us that nearly a century later, in 1053, the Abbot Ailward re-opened the King’s tomb. Malmsbury doesn’t tell us WHY the monk opened the grave, so I suppose we can just assume [...]