Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Today in history

Dear old Tom has requested that we move away from sordid topics and on to something a little more informative, thus excusing him, on the grounds of profound ignorance, from having to contribute. I doubt whether we will deter him, he has persistently blighted my life for many a year, and now appears intent to irritate my new imaginary friends by making cheap and lurid remarks of a sexual nature about them.

Dear Pavlov recently reminded us all, in the customary erudite and perspicacious way, that the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo had occurred. I thought I would see what had happened in history on this day, and explain some of the significance of it to you. On journeying over to the entirely error free Wikipedia site, I find that nothing happened on June 21st that has the slightest bearing on anything, and so I am obliged to write a little about Edward III who died on this day in 1377.

I did not study the Plantagenets, and so am forced to rely upon my frail memory, together with the material supplied at Wikipedia. I knew that Edward was not the one purportedly killed by the insertion of a red hot poker in his bottom. That was his father, Edward II, and the historians at wikipedia describe this well-known historical fact as ‘mythical’, thus depriving him of his most notable achievement other than the defeat at Bannockburn. Of course, later monarchs adopted the practice of dicing with death in the pursuit of the erotic – notably William (ferret-shagger) IV, and Queen Anne, whose activities were so disgusting that I will not give them space here.

Dear readers, (aMToNW), who would you like to dispatch to the next world by means of the insertion of a red hot poker?

Edward III (strange surname, isn’t it?) had an altogether more seemly passing. According to wikipedia, he died of a stroke brought on by severe constipation. It is gratifying to note that the dignity that is the chief characteristic of our current dear royal family can be traced back over so many years. Unfortunately, Eddy was not as witty in his accounts of this as Danny, at least as far as surviving manuscripts can be trusted.

Edward’s son was the Black Prince, whose hobbies included flower arranging, home improvement, cake decoration and kicking seven shades of shit out of the French. You will be surprised to know that he was not black, and it is therefore unlikely that he will be played by Snoop Dogg in the upcoming film of his life, and was not known as the black prince during his lifetime. He was known as Edward of Woodstock, and could be seen of a summer evening going from place to place (in between being rather unpleasant to anyone of a gallic background) exhorting them to ‘move away from the towers’ and ‘avoid the brown acid’, and describing his dream of ‘breakfast in bed for 400,000’.

24 comments:

Dave said...

I'm not sure you do Edward justice. A student of history myself, I would suggest that the 53-year reign of Edward III was a dichotomy in English development. Governmental reforms affirmed the power of the emerging middle class in Parliament while placing the power of the nobility into the hands a few. Chivalric code reached an apex in English society but only masked the greed and ambition of Edward and his barons. Social conditions were equally ambiguous: the export of raw wool (and later, the wool cloth industry) prospered and spread wealth across the nation but was offset by the devastation wrought by the Black Death. Early success in war ultimately failed to produce lasting results. Edward proved a most capable king in a time of great evolution in England.

Perhaps more interesting is Edward's relationship with his mother: his youth was spent in her court. He was only 14 when he was crowned, after his father was deposed. After 3 years of domination by his mother and her lover, Roger Mortimer, Edward instigated a palace revolt in 1330 and assumed control of the government. Mortimer was executed and Isabella was exiled from court.

No doubt your other imaginary friends will concentrate rather more on the poker.

Vicus Scurra said...

"Chivalric code reached an apex in English society" What kind of talk is this? My readers want to know the details of his contracting the clap and the agonies of his constipation, not social conditions from 700 years ago, unless I miss my guess.
And, from what I recall, England never won the Ashes during the entire 53 years of his reign, although Boycott was 7 not out at the end.

Richard said...

If memory serves me (it did, it was backed up by Britannia - good resource, eh Dave ;) ), he presided over the decline of feudalism and the rise of our merchant classes.

Vicus, wasn't that just after the time the ICC decided to introduce the game to the middle-east resulting in a dearth of decent captaincy material over here. The Mamelukes were getting a decent side together, it's a shame we never had the opportunity to take them on. Check Wisden, maybe there were a couple of 20/20 games with them.

Dave said...

:)

Richard said...

Just in case anyone thinks this is going to decline into an emoticon fuelled "wink-fest" between Dave and myself, it can't. Those are the only two I know how to do with any degree of confidence.

Pamela Troeppl said...

Was the red hot poker perhaps a cure for constipation in those days?

Brutus said...

So where did Mel Gibson the Scotsman fit into all this then?

Vicus Scurra said...

Pamela. You are the mother of 18 gorgeous children, you tell us about the household tips. Or perhaps don't.
Jack. You know as well as I do that Mel fought Edward 1st, grandfather of Edward 3rd. He later became Danger Man, and then the Prisoner.

Richard said...

Man in a Suitcase?

Vicus Scurra said...

No thanks, Richard, just a plate of rice and vegetables thanks.

Interpreter Pavlov said...

Don't worry, I'm on my way.

Michael "nothing to do now" Owen said...

We not have won the Ashes but we probably won the world cup - or at least beat Denmark whose king's head (if memory serves) was used for the ball.

Brutus said...

Well I knew Mel was mixing it with one of the Eddies .. as for the red hot poker, I would like to nominate,

Mr Nigel Wells
26a Cresswell Street
East Putney.

my old school history teacher

If the poker is still hot afterwards then give Noel Edmunds' rectum a quick scorch .. he's earned it .. often.

Richard said...

Pamelala, I don't think the poker was any good for constipation but it did wonders cauterising the farmers.

raincoaster said...

am forced to rely upon my frail memory

I beg your pardon, but just exactly how old are you?

Carmenzta said...

All I can say is ;=)

being a colonial and all...

Frontier Editor said...

If this thread drifts across the channel to fruity French royalty and nobility, I seen to recall that the Anjous made quite a pair . . . .

Cherrypie said...

You REMEMBER the Plantagenets? I didn't realise you were THAT old.

Vicus Scurra said...

Wayne and Shirley Plantagenet. Lived across the road from me in Crewe.

Frontier Editor said...

Plantagenet: cross between plantar's wart and gential wart

ypnkrs: what Malcolm McLaren said after Sid Vicious belted him in the mouth on their first meeting

Frontier Editor said...

Vicus,

don't you mean Wayne Plantagenet-Kerr?

Vicus Scurra said...

Fronty, when in the name of Spiro T Agnew, have I ever shown any sign of knowing what I mean?

Frontier Editor said...

They very fact that you use Spiro Agnew's name in an oath shows some instinctive feel for the shift in the force caused by some men and women.

At least give me credit for not using some other dual surname like Mungo Park that causes so many folks on this side of the Atlantic to snigger and make otherwise rude comments.

By the way, perhaps you should dredge up a copy of "Kansas City Bomber" before your arrival. The thought of Raquel Welch might take some of the edge off your stay.

Then again, I watched it a decade or two ago . . . . . get some brandy instead.

Frontier Editor said...

Incidentally, I must be suffereing again from fat-fingered keyboarding - I meant genital wart, not genteel wart.