Letter: Tour of Wessex
Thursday 24 June 1999
Tour of Wessex
Sir: I feel I must take John Walsh to task over his comments about the title of Earl of Wessex ("Why not make him Duke of Borchester?", 21 June).
First, his careless remarks about Hardy's Wessex place names: Casterbridge was in fact Dorchester, while Sherton Abbas was his name for Sherborne and Salisbury was Melchester.
Second, the assertion that Wessex is merely a literary identity: Wessex was a kingdom in every way that Essex, Sussex and Anglia were kingdoms though, like Mercia and Northumbria, it was too large to have been converted in whole into a county by the Normans. When Wessex became part of a greater England, ruled by both English/Saxon and Danish kings, earldoms were created (not just "dreamt up" by King Canute) and there were real Earls of Wessex.
And of course there is one obvious connection between the new Earl of Wessex and King Alfred (the Great) of Wessex: Alfred was, arguably, the last Really Useful monarch in the British Isles.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 2 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 3 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before a character like Homer or Lisa
- 4 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
- 5 Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven
Black-ish: America's new 'racist' TV sitcom has had a mixed reception
Cilla, episode 3, ITV, review: Ed Stoppard steals the limelight as Beatles manager Brian Epstein
The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before a character like Homer or Lisa
The Jungle Book: A tale as old as time
Doctor Who, The Caretaker - review: Bland Earth-based adventure fails to excite
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >