March 2013

‘I am proposing to write short e-books on the above mysteries and I would certainly be grateful for the opinions of my cherished readers.’

History is a very deep and sometimes sinister forest. Well established paths run through it which one generation after another follows. We wander into the green darkness following the footsteps of our ancestors and certain facts about the forest become regarded almost as divine truth. We tend to think of history as progression, going deeper into the forest. Now and again, we will have a sharp reminder that this is not true. I always remember the famous Anglo- Saxon historian Stenton who made the surprising claim that women had far more rights in Year 1000 AD than they did in 1900. Yet there is more in the deep undergrowth of that forest. Surprises can range from rejecting the accepted story about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour to the very strong possibility that Roosevelt and Churchill fully realised that such an attack was imminent and welcomed it as a means to motivate public opinion.

The same is true of other periods of history. According to all the chronicles and the evidence presented by historians, Edward II was murdered in Berkley Castle on 21st September 1327. His corpse was tended by an old lady, his wife Isabella insisted that her late husband be buried at Gloucester and really didn’t expose the body to public view. There is evidence, however, of another explanation, that Berkley Castle was stormed, Edward II escaped and….. Or again, Elizabeth I is portrayed as the Virgin Queen. If that was so who was the young man picked up by the Spanish and personally interviewed by Phillip II who claimed to be the son of Dudley and Elizabeth I? The Spanish took him seriously as did the English secret service.

These are two examples of what happens when you leave the well-worn path of history and begin to move among its very tangled and luxurious undergrowth. I am proposing to write short e-books on the above mysteries and I would certainly be grateful for the opinions of my cherished readers. Or there again, perhaps I should return to Brother Athelstan and those tangled months before the Great Revolt of 1381 erupted. I do hope you are all well. After such a long cold winter, I now realise why mediaeval people were so exuberant about the arrival of spring!

Take care and kindest regards,

Dr. Paul Doherty OBE

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