Interesting history here

Still, that same exhibition leaves the visitor in no doubt that what will befall these islands in less than 50 days is of epic significance, breaking a thread that has run through our long history. Even in the age of Mercia, the kingdom strained hard to connect with its neighbours in “Francia”, Rome and Ireland. The 10th-century court of Æthelstan was a cosmopolitan magnet to scholars from all over the continent.

Although not, quite famously, in political union with any of them.

But it’s not sane. Even the softest, mildest Brexit-with-a-deal represents an act of national folly that would have had Cnut shaking his head in disbelief.

He famously tried to join the Holy Roman Empire, didn’t he?

49 comments on “Interesting history here

  1. Given that Cnut’s life was a story of multiple invasions, conquests, fighting, plunder, subjugation of unwilling people and heavy taxation, I wonder what Mr Freedland is trying to say here. And being the ruler of England, Denmark, Norway and some of the Swedes does not provide a compelling picture to me of pan-European harmony

  2. Interesting to refer to a foreigner who conquered England as interested in the wellbeing of the British. Of course Cnut didn’t want Britain to be independent, he wanted to rule. That he left the Scots, Welsh and Irish alone was more likely due to a lack of capacity than a lack of ambition.

  3. Does it seem odd that a king of Mercia would be more interested in relations with Francia, Rome and Ireland than in Wessex, Northumbria and Scotland? The fact that we know bugger all about Athelstan is a godsend to Guardianistas like this BO bumboy

  4. an act of national folly that would have had Cnut shaking his head in disbelief

    Yep, there’s plenty of cnuts still bewildered by it.

  5. More deceitful remainiac horseshit.

    Shocking how much treasonous scum there now is. I estimate2 to 4 million pieces of WOMI shite as the likely figure. There can be no reconciliation with such a crew. It is vital that their future treasons–which are only a matter of time–are guarded against.

  6. “The nation whose earliest works are now on display at the British Library would see the European Union and know in an instant that its place was at the heart of it.”

    See those artifacts over there?
    Yes?.
    Pro-European remains.
    Oh, i am so sorry jonathan.
    Um how to put this, i’m not going to be able to believe you on that. Ta ta must dash, I have to urgently to perform an audit on anything you have every written or said about history that found its way into my brain.

  7. How kind of Mr Freedland to explain English history to the dim-witted English.

    I wonder which side his family was on at Hastings?

  8. Cnut ruled over a Scandinavian empire of which “ England” ( a loose description of an ethnic area with no political unity ) was part. As a Christian King he was umbilically connected both politically and by loyalty to Europe a Europe well able to raise an army for centuries to come.
    When an unwashed rabble of tribal barbarians sacked Rome, much was kept for a while , but under Theodoric, Boethius the last man to speak Greek ,and carry the legacy of the ancient world was executed, for some stupid reason (taking our jobs ..probably).
    Fortunately he was imprisoned long enough to write the “Consolations of philosophy”. His contemporary Cassiodorus ( also executed for some dim witted populist reason) , founded the tradition of learning in Monasteries .
    That lead to the secrets of the past being kept by generations of Monks , notably in the rocky outcrops of our country .
    This was why Kenneth Clarke`s first episode of “Civilisation” was called “By the skin of our teeth”
    So nearly was everything lost…. Europe , the dream was kept alive right here !

    Boethius figures muchly in Chaucer, our founding poet Chaucer, who like any learned man understood Latin, the pan European language of civilisation, wrote in the French styleof medieval high culture , and was at that time part of a cross Channel empire as well as Christendom ,the precursor of Europe .
    The further back you go the more European England is and as Britain and Empire recede the European identity is more , not less fundamental to our identity . The brutish ignorance of Brexit is not England, it isan injury an amputation a pollution of the spring from which Englishness flows

    …and a fucking nuisance at work .

  9. Considering the history of the British isles is a couple thousand of conflict with various Europeans, can’t say this is particularly persuasive. But in the spirit of European history can we have Calais & Aquitaine back, please? Or, come to think of it, in the spirit of European history – without the please.

  10. Newmania what was this Europe you refer to? Who ruled it? Where was Cnut’s kingdom? If Cnut’s kingdom was part of Europe, why did he expend so many lives and resources adding to it?

  11. Newmania what was this Europe you refer to? Who ruled it? Where was Cnut’s kingdom? If Cnut’s kingdom was part of Europe, why did he expend so many lives and resources adding to it? And skipping forward 300 years fools nobody, especially since the European landmass was probably even more fragmented then

  12. Hey Newmania, if you send me details of your equipment, I might be able to slot you into Polly’s front bottom

  13. .Bloke in Spain
    We have been much less in conflict with other European Nations then have they with each other .We have managed to conduct our wars on their territory
    I dread to think what the Duke of Wellington would have said about the idea of leaving ourselves isolated and alone just because a few fruitcakes get themselves worked up about barley quotas or whatever

    ..but then he was a soldier and a Conservative , not a pound shop populist charlatan .

  14. Diogenes – Sorry you have completely lost me there, perhaps it is because you are speaking the little known dialect of gibberish.
    ( and come to think of it Gib is fucked as well )

  15. Hey, isn’t English history all about racism and imperialism? Yet at the heart of Europe? Which imaginary version of Britain’s history will he settle on?

  16. Facepainting clown–your knowledge of history is as woeful as your scummy and treasonous soul. The only ones isolated are the vile clutch of remainiac Judaii (sounds better than Judas’es) as represented by your demented and deceitful ravings.

    The Iron Duke is a “Conservative” –is that where you put yourself scumbag? As prime BluLabour trash?

  17. …Latin, the pan European language of civilisation…

    It’s the language of the brutal murdering, raping invaders, occupiers and slavers that crushed most of the tribes of Europe and managed to hold the territory for some time before their corruptions weakened them and the whole thing collapsed.

    I’m not one to judge history by modern moralism, but the Romans were utter cunts. It’s no surprise that a happily whipped dog like you laments their demise.

  18. ‘Even in the age of Mercia, the kingdom strained hard to connect with its neighbours in “Francia”…’

    Could that be because Northumbria and the North Sea were in the way, and the Franks kept taking Anglo-Saxons as slaves?

  19. I’m not one to judge history by modern moralism, but the Romans were utter cunts. It’s no surprise that a happily whipped dog like you laments their demise.

    Rebel against Roman occupation and they would slaughter your settlement, everything – men, women, children, animals in the most brutal way possible and just leave the carcasses to rot.

    That’s the “pan-European civilisation” he is masturbating over.

  20. Remember – Western civilisation is evil and the source of every wrong in the world, unless it suits the Guardian to say otherwise to satisfy the tactical needs of the moment.

  21. So Newmania read something about Europe and when asked to relate it to the known reality of Cnut – bigamist-turned God botherer, serial invader of other peoples’ lands etc professes that the questions are gibberish. Ha ha, said the clown. How can someone who belongs in the pan-European brotherhood claim kingship over nations and parts of nations that were not part of his inheritance? Another question that is way too technical for the twat

  22. As I’ve pointed out before, but it can’t be said too often, the idea that there is some modern European culture to which the UK naturally belongs is utter nonsense. Anyone who’s ever worked (or better lived) in southern Europe will be well aware of the many cultural differences, not to say vast gulf, that exists between north and south, Latin and Anglo-Saxon.

    One of the leading academic experts on cultural differences is Geert Hofstede and his ‘cultural dimensions’. Interestingly, he found the biggest outliers in Europe to be the French, who are far more divergent from Anglo-Saxons in their cultural attitudes than (say) the Japanese.

    What cultural attributes are shared by a Finn and a Greek that wouldn’t equally be shared by anyone from the first world?

  23. So George 1 never waged war in continental Europe. What was the Black Prince doing raiding Southern France and Northern Spain? Surely Richard 1 never waged war to defend his estates in present day France? Crecy, Agincourt and Poitiers never happened. Why did George 2 lead his army at Dettingen?Newmania, you make me laugh. Shit for brains doesn’t begin to describe you.

  24. the French, who are far more divergent from Anglo-Saxons in their cultural attitudes than (say) the Japanese.

    Um….well one thing is that English contains the entire Latin vocabulary which is also the basis of French ( a Romance language obviously )
    This is why French is very much easier to learn than Japanese…
    France and England are both post imperial Atlantic sea going countries with capitals which tend to swamp the rest of their land due to this history
    Japan is a …um … dunno
    All three have a long Christian tradition ( except japan). France has had a 1000 yea gravitational pull for England . 2oth century English art with the Impressionists is inconceivable and English writing has been influenced by the French from Chaucer onwards.
    Take poetry for example , TS Elliot is the father of the modern English poet but he was much influenced by Ezra pound a man in love with Europe, both saw America as deadening place they wished to escape .
    I do not detect the same sort of Japanese influence …do you ?

    What have we got then …The Mikado ? Written by the English Offenbach making fun of a passing craze for things Chinese ….

    I mean I have heard some absurd crap in my time but this is one of the most ridiculous remarks yet

  25. Diogenese – ” .We have managed to conduct our wars on their territory” I said

    The process usually goes this way:
    1 Read a thing
    2 Form a view
    3 Express a view

    Not the other way round
    Now its just a suggestion, but if you are going to get arsey read the comment; you dopey twat.

  26. You are still spewing shite Facepainting fool.

    There have always been self-hating deposits like you born. The presence of sellouts and grovelling shite does not create a “cultural” influence save among self-important offal like you . With your WOMI sense of entitlement and egotism you assume your own brainwarp is the natural state of all–instead of only afflicting diseased pukes such as youself. Doubtless you watched too many arse-house French films on BBC 2 as a kid . Perhaps some useless French turd-crepes like Goddard violated your psyche with pretentious, incomprehensible vaguely leftist bullshit-perhaps you watched “Clochmerle” once too often . No one know or cares Judas. All that matters is to round up and ship out all traitors like you asap–so that you can enjoy your lovely euro-trash Mecca free from all unwanted plebs. You can merge your cut-price genes with continental stock and we will keep our country.

  27. Newmania like most remainders confuses leaving a political union with isolationism. England has never been isolationist but has looked to and beyond Europe.

  28. So, Newmania, when Edward 3 and Richard 1 waged war in Aquitaine and Anjou, they were not defending their own territory? When George 1 and 2, the Electors of Hanover,waged war in Central Europe, they were not defending their own territorial interests?
    Are you arguing that Britain is at the heart of Europe or is somehow separate from Europe? Can you make up your mind?

  29. “We have been much less in conflict with other European Nations then have they with each other”

    Let’s see.
    100 years’ war. France v England and large chunks of France
    Castilian Civil war – England got involved on the side of Peter
    80 years’ war- England got involved on the side of the Dutch protestants
    30 years’ war – England got involved on the side of the Protestants through connections with the Palatine counts
    War of Spanish Succession – England involved on the Hapsburg side
    Seven Years War – practically started by England

    Your point is?

  30. Alright Diogenes if you define certain parts of Northern France and Germany as British then , in the last 1000 years we have fought on British soil .
    I think if I define you as a tiresome wanker I am on considerably firmer ground but you carry on with that .

    On your other point where you are trying to prove that Britain has engaged as much as anyone else on the Continent. Lets take one example .
    The 30 years war had 8,000,000 casualties and was fought to and fro on German soil between shifting alliances annihilating ordinary life for a generation
    Unless you know about it, it is impossible to understand the militarism of Prussia and much of subsequent European history
    I doubt many people in this country even know it happened,
    That’s what I am getting at , the supposition that the relationship between England and its Continental enemies is exceptionally antagonistic is a lie . It is , as I said , less so than than it is for other European countries

    I don`t think you have understood this point , it is an argument against British exceptionalism , not an argument that we were not involved at all …sigh….
    You have no idea what I am talking about do you

  31. Britain needs to be in the EU ‘cos of poetry, ‘aight?
    Also ‘cos kings hundreds years ago had summat to do wiv Europe – fightin, latin n stuff.
    But nowt to do wiv Japan – don’t no owt bout Japan so there.
    Anyone who disagrees wiv me is wrong and an idiot. ‘aight?
    Cancel Brexit cos it inconveniences me at work.

  32. So England was not involved but was central to everything. But at the same time England is not antagonistic to the mainland.

    It seems an odd argument to make. It’s almost as if there was never any competition between France, Germany and Britain. At any time.

    I prefer to be tiresome than an ignoramus. English impressionist painters.. Eliot more influenced by French poets than Dante, Virgil and Webster. English being similar to French…. That had me rolling on the floor.

  33. Just to give you a clue, when did France, Italy, Poland, Germany, Austria, Hungary get to their current shapes?

  34. Language matters.
    The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis basically is that which language you think in affects how you think. Not sure it’s completely true, but is just a hypothesis.
    I don’t think that sharing a common parent language historically means we should all be under the same government.
    If it did, we should first be in a giant pan-continental government federation that rules the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, Ireland and any others I’ve missed.
    Then we can think about bringing in the EU to this group.

  35. Although not, quite famously, in political union with any of them

    Not true.

    Henry VI was king of France and England.

    The Georges were rulers of Hanover and Britain.

  36. Diogenese you are pathetic, really pathetic .

    England is part of Europe and it is if anything less antagonistic to other parts of it than other countries-, it is simple,would it help if I used Japanese ?
    No English is not ‘like’ French in a simplistic way . Both, however ,are part of the Indo European Group of languages Germanic and Romance respectively . English however has so many Romance language loan words in its history, especially French as to acquire a flavour of the Latin derived languages
    More so than fucking Japa – fucking –nese …! Get it ?

    You know zero about Webster Virgil or Dante and we both know you have not have read a syllable of TS Elliot not involving a cat ( if that) . His juvenilia , and his own criticism ,show to be influenced by late romantic English poets( like Tennyson ) as you would expect ,as does his actual poetry, much of which I have read . It was the meeting with Ezra pound that moved his work into something distinctive and modern , imagism is the word usually associated with the new idea .
    Both Americans , both in love with the Great European tradition , which is interesting .

    On art, as in painting was thinking of the St Ives school , the use of paint the outdoor themes the “impressionistic” use of brush and colour. It seems to me that without the French Impressionists this work is impossible to imagine .It certainly does not come from any home grown movement I am aware of . Make you own mind up

    My advice to you is to stop googling ,read a few books .

  37. Dear Newmaniac, it might help your argument if you could get clear in what passes for your mind the difference between language and culture. Then read some Hofstede. If you think France is culturally similar to England I can only assume you’ve never visited.

  38. “I doubt many people in this country even know it happened,” Newmania

    I keep forgetting how clever and knowledgeable you are and how thick as shit everyone else is.

    You come across like some 14 year old who has just come home from school having learned something for the first time and then condescends to patronisingly explain it to your parents, arrogantly assuming that they can’t possibly already know it.

  39. Chris Miller,

    “As I’ve pointed out before, but it can’t be said too often, the idea that there is some modern European culture to which the UK naturally belongs is utter nonsense. Anyone who’s ever worked (or better lived) in southern Europe will be well aware of the many cultural differences, not to say vast gulf, that exists between north and south, Latin and Anglo-Saxon.”

    The natural resources of countries (including the amount of sun, rain, oil, coastlines, minerals) has large effects. I don’t think it’s at all an accident that the protestant countries are roughly at the same parallels. And I think it’s that the Dutch, Danes, English jumped on any way out of an agrarian economy in a way that the people in Provence didn’t.

    You just have to go to look at the chart of how many mothers work in each country and it’s generally far higher in North than South (around 70% vs 50%). Why? My guess is that warm weather changes incentives. Women would probably rather be at home if the weather’s lovely than stuck in an office and they’ll foresake a bunch of things for that trade. What women then compete against each other over is going to be different. It’ll be things like how good your cooking is rather than the brand of purse you own.

    And this probably also applies to men. Do you want to be in the office for as long if it’s sunny out? So, you’re probably going to be more supportive of working time directives because you’re rarely going to hit them anyway.

    I go to the Charente and Charente-Maritime and I know some people who live there and it’s more like Britain 15-20 years ago in many ways.

  40. Andrew C I have a fourteen year old son and I dream of the day he wishes to explain something he learnt at school to me , all I get is um and errr-

  41. @ Diogenes
    We do know some stuff about Aethelstan, such as that he was (as Alfred’s grandson) the King of Wessex, not Mercia.
    The exhibition is very interesting and impressive which is more than be said of Mr Freedland’s ability to remember much of it, or even to understand that Britain is not and never has been a country. .

  42. @ Newmania
    That reflects rather badly on either your son or his school, or yourself. I was having intelligent discussions with my elder son when he was seven (I remember being stuck on how to explain diffraction of light to someone who hadn’t stareted on ‘O’ level Physics).

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