The character of Aethelred

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This topic contains 0 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Stephen Harrison 9 months, 1 week ago.

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    Stephen Harrison

    Hi Jamie. I’m listening to the new episode about Tettenhall and wanted to make a comment on your points about the way Aethelred is portrayed in The Last Kingdom.I haven’t seen any of the tv series because I am still working my way through the books so I can’t really speak to how Aethelred is portrayed on-screen but if it is anything like the books then he will be coming across as a grade A bastard. You sort of criticised Bernard Cornwell for his portrayal of Aethelred and, so far as the evidence goes, you are most likely right but Cornwell does acknowledge this himself in his Historical Notes at the end of ‘Sword Song’ where he writes, “I suspect that I have been extremely unfair to the real Aethelred, but fairness is not the historical novelist’s first duty.” Unfortunately most of the tv watchers will never read the books so will not see this note. In that case your ‘health warning’ is probably warranted but I did want to point out that Cornwell knows that with this character he is playing fast and loose with the facts, such as they are.

    Love the podcast.

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