Sunday, April 3, 2011

Edward the Confessor Crowned

'There remained betwixt Cedric and the determination which the lovers desired to come to, only two obstacles,— his own obstinacy, and his dislike of the Norman dynasty. The former feeling gradually gave way before the endearments of his ward, and the pride which he could not help nourishing in the fame of his son. Besides, he was not insensible to the honour of allying his own line to that of Alfred, when the superior claims of the descendant of Edward the Confessor were abandoned for ever. Cedric's aversion to the Norman race of kings was also much undermined,—first, by consideration of the impossibility of ridding England of the new dynasty, a feeling which goes far to create loyalty in the subject to the king de facto; and secondly, by the personal attention of King Richard, who delighted in the blunt humour of Cedric, and, to use the language of the Wardour Manuscript, so dealt with the noble Saxon, that, ere he had been a guest at court for seven days, he had given his consent to the marriage of his ward Rowena and his son Wilfred of Ivanhoe.'

The text above is from Walter Scott's "Ivanhoe".  Edward the Confessor was crowned king of England on April 3, 1043.  Upon his death, Harold Godwinson, the last Saxon king took power.  His rule lasted just long enough to run up against William the Conqueror, who ushered in the Norman era in England that, against the Saxons, forms the clash of culture in "Ivanhoe".

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