Tigger of Kai wrote:If strong nationalism is what they're after then they should remember that the Normans were the biggest obstacle to the English becoming strong, or a nation!
I'll agree to that, and to the sentiments about needing more emphasis on pre-Conquest history generally.
King Harold II. the Passion-Bearer doesn't get nearly enough love, IMHO. He was a diligent, soft-spoken and well-regarded king (or, as Vladimir Moss put it: 'pious, humble and affable to all good men', but one who 'treated malefactors with great severity, and gave general orders to his earls, ealdormen, sheriffs and thegns to imprison all thieves, robbers and disturbances of the kingdom'), whose sole flaw seems to have been his impatience - but for some reason he only gets remembered as 'that bloke who took an arrow to the eye at Hastings'.
After Hastings, it is interesting that the torchbearers of Saxon England fled the Norman Invasion mostly to Varangian Ruthenia (Vladimir II. Monomakh himself married Harold's daughter!), or to Byzantium.
Tigger of Kai wrote:When the failures of John the Doofus made certain that the Plantagenets wouldn't rule France, that's when it became clear that, instead of the backwater it had always been, England would be a nation, and a liberty-loving nation at that.
The English don't have a very good record after the Norman conquest of standing up for their own liberties - folks like Wat Tyler and Gerrard Winstanley aside. The English parliamentarians were all too willing to give up their basic self-determination, first to the brutal and genocidal 'republican' dictatorship of the Cromwells, then to the Lowland usurpers of the House of Orange, and finally to the Teutons who rule England today. There was a small hope that Prince Philip might have helped bring England back to holy Orthodoxy, but sadly he embraced the postmodern credo of the Whiggish English state.
But perhaps there is hope for Charles...?