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November 23, 2010 @ 12:54 am

10. Aethelred the Unready

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The last of the boy kings and one of the most infamous of the Saxons, poor Aethelred has a rather torrid time. As if coming to the throne after his brother was murdered was not enough, he is faced with the most powerful Viking force in a century and struggles to keep the Scandinavian hordes at bay. Listen in to find out why this reign sets us on the path to 1066, why we really shouldn't call him "unready" and how he makes a mockery of our scoring system.

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  • Laura

    Sad to hear the end of Dunstan in this episode. He was a fascinating character! When he wasn’t medling with politics, he was apparently a highly skilled blacksmith and craftsman and is the patron saint of Goldsmiths today. As he was so holy, he was repeatedly attacked by the devil and became quite good at fighting him off. On one occasion he nailed a horseshoe to the devil’s hoof, which was apparently very painful, and only removed it on the agreement that the devil would never again enter a house where a horseshoe was displayed on the door. So he may have started the ‘lucky horseshoe’ tradition.

    Dunstan was also a musician; he played the harp and composed this song http://vimeo.com/8401485. One more fun fact about Dunstan is that he is said to have made bells during his retirement! All these achievements and Ali can’t even get his name right!

    Jul 9, 2011 at 7:09 pm
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