Overflow from our readers postbag which we didnt have room to publish in the magazine
Off with his head
A correction to Dick Durham’s Run Ashore on Northey Island and the Battle of Maldon (YM September).
Ethelred was the Saxon king. It was the Vikings who came from Scandinavia not Ethelred. Wherever Byrthnoth’s skull ended up it wasn’t in Ethelred’s court as a drinking mug. They were on the same side, although Byrthnoth’s quote ‘not so easily shall you come by the treasure (Ethelred’s Danegeld), point and edge (my sword) shall first make atonement!’ suggests he had until then a little more backbone than his monarch.
‘A family adventure (P88)’ also shows the need to get the historical stuff right; there is apparently at least one poor British kid who has been taught that Napoleon wore a British Naval Uniform and had one arm!