16 thoughts on “I can sense your envy from waaayyyy over here

    1. Well he was a particularly interesting Northumbrian king – responsible for many things having ‘Oswald’ in their name (maybe – Wikipedia tells me Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire probably wasn’t named after him, shattering illusions I’ve had for literally decades)


      1. How many levels of โ€œinterestingโ€ is there for Northumbrian kings? High level interesting Northumbrian kings. Not that interesting, but still more interesting than average Northumbrian kings. Ordinary run the mill Northumbrian kings. Extremely uninteresting Northumbrian kings. Etc?

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      2. So, true story time.

        Way back in time. I’m a geeky kid with geeky friends with our heads full of Tolkien. What we wanted to imagine was that the chunk of England we lived in was a setting for a fantasy novel in the dark ages. Now, there was no shortage of local history in the area but genre wise it was a better location for steampunk rather than dark age fantasy.

        Even so.
        There’s a region in that part of South Lancashire known as ‘Makerfield’ which is really only recognised tangentially – like in parts of town names (eg Ashton-in-Makerfield) and a parliamentary constituency.

        Now, as it happens. King Oswald died in a classic epic battle against the kingdom of Mercia. The battle was the battle of Maserfield https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Maserfield – Nobody knows exactly where that was and it was probably further south in Shropshire but…”Maserfield”/”Makerfield”…why not?

        I don’t know how long interest in King Oswald consumed us – probably not very long, but that’s how for a brief time King Oswald of Northumbria was particularly interesting. Quite how and where we got these snippets of facts from, I couldn’t tell you now ๐Ÿ™‚

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      3. Fantastic! This answer was more than I could have bargained for. I have a feeling this could somehow be a basis for a Netflix series (with som of the fantasy elements coming true).

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  1. Wow, that’s a very pretty edition. Nice! I got the complete short works of Poul Anderson (all volumes) upgrading a lot of the Baen-reprint cheap-paper trades to a much nicer version, plus rounding out some of the stories I didn’t have.


  2. I got that one too! I spent parts of Boxing Day morning petting it, and looking at the illustrations, and reading many of her Afterwords and thoughts along the way. I will reread the books too, at some point…

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    1. I started a reread on Boxing Day. I’m just a few chapters into The Farthest Shore ๐Ÿ™‚

      The Afterwords are great.

      True story: somebody who doesn’t know me very well, visiting the house thought it was a Bible. I guess I’ve nearly finished the Old Testament ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  3. Ooooh, shiny. I am a bit jealous, yes.

    I got NO books for Xmas, which may be a first in history. However, I got several for my birthday recently, and I gave (with a peek into and rights of reading) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553805444/ which isn’t so much a coffee table book as a coffee table. Lots of history of kings, none of them named Oswald. Also, I got a signed bookplate for one of the books I got earlier, which is nice and I carefully stuck that in place.


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