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Author Archives: Patricia

The Last Kingdom 4, Episode 5

The first four episodes of this 4th season were based on Bernard Cornwell’s novel The Pagan Lord, and they followed its two major story lines: Uhtred’s attempt to seize Bebbanburg and Cnut’s attempt to seize Mercia. The Netflix series, however … Read More

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The Last Kingdom 4, Episode 4

In this episode of The Last Kingdom, women are the prime movers behind the events that lead to the Battle of Tettenhall. Kudos to this production for imagining the role of women as something more than hapless victims needing rescuing. … Read More

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The Last Kingdom 4, Episode 3

Episode 3 of Season 4 of The Last Kingdom is permeated with threat, devastation and loss. There is no place in the dialogue for ribald humor or even wry jests among Uhtred’s companions. The father/son theme continues, and the contrast … Read More

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The Last Kingdom 4, Episode 2

Episode 2 of this season’s The Last Kingdom picks up right where the first episode left off, following the two story lines of 1) Uhtred’s effort to re-take Bebbanburg and 2) Cnut and Brida’s effort to conquer Mercia and Wessex. … Read More

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The Last Kingdom 4, Episode 1

The first episode of the long-awaited Season 4 of The Last Kingdom covers a lot of ground—re-connecting us with on-going characters and introducing some new faces. It appears to be following the two major story lines from Cornwell’s 7th novel, … Read More

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Æthelred the King

On 23 April 1016, Æthelred, king of England, died in London. He was about 50 years old, and he’d ruled England for 38 years. At his death he’d not yet been given the byname, Unræd, (ill-counseled, a play on the … Read More

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Swords, Wyrms & Vikings

  One of the treasures on display at Durham Cathedral’s Open Treasure Exhibit is an impressive 13th century sword, the Conyers Falchion. According to a legend, this falchion was used by Sir John Conyers to slay the Sockburn Wyrm. The … Read More

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Reflections on the Dark

I had a dream, which was not all a dream. The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars Did wander darkling in the eternal space… ………from DARKNESS, by Lord Byron I live in California where massive fires fanned by high … Read More

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Winterfell: The Story Behind the Name

In George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, the Stark family—descended from the ancient Kings of Winter—rules from its northern fastness of Winterfell. That name, WINTERFELL, conjures up images of both WINTER and SNOWFALL, appropriate for … Read More

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THE LIFE OF EDMUND IRONSIDE at The Road to Hastings Website

Novelist Paula Lofting very kindly asked me to write something recently for The Writers of Anglo-Saxon Literature series on her Road to Hastings Website, and I posted a brief bio there of Edmund Ironside. That’s Edmund up there on the … Read More

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