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?