The island of England, Scotland, and Wales is fantastically perfect. Just the right shape; just the right size. And I say it, who has never set foot there.
The Gutenberg website has made a great difference to my life. I love being English. But our libraries suffer from a paucity of good English literature.
We have had to make do with abridged versions. These had removed words which the intervening years had made offensive. But a revision by anyone other than the author is an attack, by nature.
Good English rock has also made a great difference to my life. No doubt you know who you are.
These influences bring me to write a brief sketch of English history, to be taken for what it is.
England in the Straits
The Saxons, fleeing from something--they knew not what--risked drowning in the Channel in the makeshift boats they had cobbled together.
This was not an invasion. This was an escape!
They did not speak the language of the island.
We must ask our Celtic brothers to tell us the story, as in our state of fear, we couldn't tell a good deed from a bad.
"What would you like? We have food aplenty. We will give you shelter. Why did you just take? Why didn't you ask? You don't need to be able to speak, to ask! And now we're forced to spill your blood on our land."
"This is what our grandfathers told us they experienced. They claim, and we believe them, that it would have been no difficulty to have extinguished every last one of those invaders.
"But they chose to call them immigrants. And we watched them from the mountains, and from that fair isle.
"Away from our beloved farmlands; farmlands no more."
The Saxons then spread themselves to the four points of the compass; and they hated one another.
And every so often they would make ventures into the mountains, for a bit of spice.
And the Celts would remind themselves of brotherly love, and sisterly love; but the brotherly first.
How long this went on, doesn't seem to be known. Evidence suggests that it was less than a hundred years.
Evidence, in fact, suggests that the Celts didn't just watch the Saxons.
Evidence suggests that they went to live amongst those noisy animals, and when the blood of those animals had cooled, would merely need to tell them to shut the fuck up every so often.
For such was the peace which they had found, that it had also taught them self-sacrifice.
We know that events many hundreds of years later brought in a true invasion; but we also know that the invaders were remarkably civilized. They took the throne, but they didn't upset law and order.