365 – The Red Cliffs of Dover

In 1050, Thorrfinn the Jarl of Orkney went to Rome. And no trip to Rome is complete without a visit with the Pope. And when Thorrfin had his meeting, we’re told that Pope personally absolved the Jarl’s sins. At least that’s what the Orkneyinga Saga would have us believe. Did that really happen? Dunno. It’s [...]

364 – Reconciliation

Complex societies are able to do incredible things.  By having an interconnected civilization, with people from all over the place contributing to it, people are able to specialize… and that specialization allows for entire classes of people who can do things that would be impossible if they had to meet their own basic needs all [...]

363 – Treason!

Piece by piece, the board was being set for a comeback. The Godwin family had been thrown from power decades ago. But Godwin knew how to be patient and grind it out. And now he was back on top, the second most powerful person in England. At least. It’s actually possible he was THE most [...]

362 – Meet the Godwins

History is just the story of humans across time. Therefore, like humanity, history is varied, it’s emotional, it’s complex. And often it’s just f*cking messy. King Edward was pushing 40… but new bride, Edith, was only about 22. If you’re a modern royal watcher, or even just a fan of The Crown, you’ll know that [...]

361 – W A Poet

King Edward came to England with a political migraine. His own nobles, the very people from whom he would rely on for the exercise of his power, had been involved in the murder of his brother, Alfred. These were powerful figures in their own right, and many would have had more influence and knowledge in [...]

360 – The Long Game

In 1040, while England was dealing with the chaos of Harthacnut’s reign and the threat of yet another succession mess, Scotland was dealing with its own set of problems. The northern Kingdom just lost its king. And that wasn’t anything new for Scotland… their Kings rarely lasted long. But it got trickier because the King’s [...]

358 – King Harthacnut

Today’s story starts in 1039. It’s a big year, and a lot has happened to get us here. So let’s recap very quickly. The death of Cnut caused a cascade of consequences that reached up to the tip of Scotland and even into the continent. It was an empire crumbling just as it had been [...]

357 – Walter Map’s Courtly Trifles

The early 11th century was an unlikely time of heroes. By heroes I unfortunately don’t mean people of good character and brave deeds, but just people who perform extraordinary feats for their time. One of these was the very first King of Wales, Gruffudd ap Llewelyn. He pulled off what no other Welsh ruler had [...]