Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


October 13th is the anniversary date of the battle of Hastings, when William the Bastard defeated King Harold Godwinson and conquered England.

(Oops - it was on Oct. 14th.  I'm a day early.)

This unfortunate event was mentioned in a nice L A Times x-word by Mike Paluso, back in July.  Words in CAPS refer to that puzzle.

Both Harold and William had claims to the English throne - though, even if you accept medieval notions of inherited kingship - neither is very convincing.  

The battle of Hastings was really bad luck for King Harold. William's army sat on the shore of Normandy for the entire Summer waiting for the wind to change, (talk about a TIME KILLER) so they could cross the SEA - well, channel - and BARGE in.

Everyone was at the end of their patience and resources. If the weather hadn't finally shifted in Oct. the entire course of English history would be different. William would never have been able to raise that army again. See what we OWE TO weather!

Harold and his MATES had just fought a fierce battle two weeks earlier at Stamford Bridge, against his DRIP of a brother and a Danish Viking army, then had to march about 200 miles to take on William's forces.

During the battle of Hastings he took an arrow in the eye (or so the story goes) and the rest is, as they say, history.

There once was a King they called Harry
Whose luck wasn't bad, it was very
Awful we've found, then when Bill crossed the sound*
He wound up in the cemetery

* Well -channel.

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