Saturday, 26 January 2013


Despite all the bloodthirstiness and superstition, it is possible to find some wisdom among the characters in Poul Anderson's The Sign Of The Raven (New York, 1980).


" 'As for me, I believe what I see with my own eyes, and doubt any man's bare word.' " (p. 149)

King Svein of Denmark, quoted by the English outlaw, Osric:

" '...I have learned to be content, and to remain by my own holdings however small...' " (p. 154)

Thus, Svein at least does not join in the scramble to secure the kingship of England. This shows that others could have done likewise. Those in any age who take a more enlightened view than their contemporaries are the leaven for a better future. In some respects, we are now in that future and, in other ways, it still lies ahead.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I agree with and sympathize with what King Svein said. But, even he did try his hand at one adventure. In the first confused years after the Norman conquest, some of the northern chieftains in England invited the Danes to invade and try to defean the still precariously established Normans. But King William defeated the Danish invasion force. After which Svein ruefully concluded God had never meant him to be a warrior. For the rest of his reign, till his death in 1076, King Svein was content to stay quiet at home.