Harold Loser1066

After a meeting in Waltham Abbey this afternoon with 20 minutes on the meter – I went to visit King Harald's tomb. A good place to reflect on the debt we owe to losers. Harold ought to be the patron saint of losers. He won a famous victory at Stamford Bridge – marched his army down south and nearly won at Hastings. En route he came here to pray for victory. His prayer was not answered. William- not a very nice man wouldn't give Harold's body back to his mother. It was left to his mistress to identify what was left of it. And the body is reputedly buried here though there are a couple of other sights.

Harold's death touches me because losing leads to a different outcome – and English history is unimaginable without the conquest of the Normans and the better for it. Though I wondered if we would have turned out peaceful and democratic – an outpost of Scandinivia instead of the powerhouse that England became. I have to believe that the defeat was for the good – but somebody drew the short straw. And it was pious good king Harold who fought the good fight and lost.




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