“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.
King Edward, like those before him, had died under mysterious and apparently violent circumstances. And the next in line for this increasingly bloody throne of England was his 12 year old little half-brother. AEthelred.
“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 [...]
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 [...]
Human beings can’t really be summed up in a nickname. Usually we are more complicated than a word or two. And sometimes, the nickname just doesn’t reflect reality. If you take Edward the Elder, for example, the name probably conjures up an image of Gandalf. But Edward was only in his early 50’s when he [...]
You would think that someone named Edgar the Peaceable enjoyed a good reputation. But the closer you look, the more things start to look...off. And if you look closer than that, you start to get the sense that maybe things WERE off. Support the Show
Across the North Sea, in Scandinavia, a man named Harald Greycloak was struggling for dominance in the region. He wasn’t just any man, he was a son of Erik Bloodaxe and Gunnhilde. And his fight brought him into direct conflict with King Haakon.
The King is dead. Long live the King. Eadwig, the 18 year old King known for his beauty, had died. Somehow.
History is known as a field for being a bit of a slog. Tracing events, and people, and social movements through decades and centuries is a huge task and the results are usually dense at the best of times. But once in a while, in between all the battles and the politics and the dynasties, [...]
We can probably assume that Harald Fairhair, the King of Norway, had fantastic hair. It was either big, or really long, or super glossy, and it was almost definitely blonde. But it wasn’t the only trait he was known for. Harald Fairhair was also known for getting around... and around… and around. According to records, [...]