Saturday, March 18, 2017

Saturday Morning Musings - the rise and rise of Donaeld The Unready

At a time when politics seems a little unstable and itself the element of farce to the point that the role of the fuming satirist is reduced to irrelevance by the reality of it all, the rise of Donaeld  The Unready provides a welcome relief.

Donaeld 's twitter feed describes himself in this way:
The best medieval King out there. I'm the bretwalda. The bestwalda. I've got great swords, everyone says so. Make Mercia Great Again. Great thoughts, all my own
His website provides a little more detail.
Much of the early history of England is lost to the Ages, destroyed by flown time and vindictive monarchs. So many early Kings are only known because of the “trusted” Chronicles of historically minded monastery dwellers such as Bede and Gildas. History is of course written by the powerful winners and their monkish scribes. But what of the losers? What of those deliberately scraped from the precious vellum of Lindisfarne and Jarrow by jealous ink-stained pen-pitted hands? 
My research in the archives of Lichfield Cathedral has uncovered a priceless document, a true chronicle from the pen of a great leader of Mercia. A document which history has forgotten and those biased gatekeepers at the Elite East Coast scriptoria have done their best to suppress. The personal, raw and at times close to the bone musings of the Greatest of all Mercian Kings. Never before seen by historians, and covering many events that Gildas, Bede and others chose not to record, this manuscripts are truly without parallel. Illustrated by the greatest artist in Mercia, a certain Mike (@WulfgarTheBard), weaver of dreams, illustrator of scenes, painter of... paintings..
Wulfgar the Bard has his own twitter feed and also a Facebook Page and indeed a web site. . Wulfgar provides illustrations that draw out the extent of Donaeld 's problems along with his own captions. The caption to this illustration reads: "King a month and Donaeld's boared already."

Bretwalda Donaeld  faces many problems in making Mercia great again. There are not just the nasty monks or twisted scribes, but also the sneaky Danes who from their capital in Jorvik (Scandinavian York) who post a constant threat with their mouthpiece the Jorvik Times. Then there are the people even in Mercia who just do not understand as well as the rival kingdoms..

Sometimes irascible, Bretwalda Donaeld  perseveres, pointing out the issues in his stream of tweets.
Viking raids start 789. Alfraid the Worst only takes responsibility in 871! Too late lazy Alfraid! I would have stopped this far faster! 
Persistence is required.  "MAKE MERCIA GREAT AGAIN! End the Wessex hegemony! Time to take our kingdom back. #buildtheshieldwall."

Or on the Danes: "Viking attacks on monasteries during services proves they have weapons of Mass destruction. Only one option. Invade Vikania, wherever it is". Or again: "Northumbria behaving very badly. They've been playing Mercia for years. Rheged not helping! Need a new clear response. #buildtheshieldwall"

From time to time, there does seem to a degree of confusion in his thinking, but he is quick to point out confusions in others:
" Bad Monk Bede says I'm in Consistent. And in Competent. And in Decisive. Can't be in 3 places at once Bede! And I'm in MERCIA actually! SAD"

It will be clear that the Bretwalda sometimes has difficulties with official visitors:
Lotta haters wondering why Queen Hedwiga of Saxons said nothing at moot. Simple! So awestruck by me she was speechless! A mute moot!
This type of thing can become a bit heavy, of course.  So far I think the Bretwalda and Bard have largely avoided this, in part because the placement in that past world allows for interaction with others linked to the time that are not necessarily linked to current events. It becomes a world in its own right.

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