Pain is temporary, failure lasts forever

Lean, agile living for the running mother of Peter

2007-09-16

Poor John....

When watching Disney's lovely classic, Robin Hood, I remembered that I've never mentioned one of the passions of my life: the legend around the Plantagenet's of English history. It started when I was about 15 and saw The lion in winter. A film about an old medieval king, his intriguing wife and their spoiled children. Sometime during the movie I realized that the eldest son was actually Richard the Lion Heart and the youngest therefor must have been John Lackland (then, of course, I referred to him as Prince John). The depiction of the two wasn't exactly the image you get from Ivanhoe or Robin Hood, so I started collecting books on the subject. The story was amazing and during the coming year I read all I could collect from the city libraries on the subject. The real lesson of the story is that the winner doesn't always get to tell the story to the afterworld.
OK, John did tax the land during Richard's absence BUT it all started when he and the land of the brits were forced to pay tribute to the Austrian king, who kept Richard hostage after Richard being kicked out of the holy land. (Well, Richard gave him the reason to tax the country, but he probably kept most of the doe himself.) But the crusade and the tribute made England a very poor country. And ten years after him becoming king, Richard died in France from taking a arrow to his eye. Actually, after crawling back from the crusades he never set foot again in the country he impoverished with his little adventures.
So, what happened next is that prince John became king John and he ruled the land for many years. And what did happen during his reign was that he signed a treaty that is said to be the first modern law and the basis for modern democracy, Magna Carta. (OK, John was forced to sign it, but still...) A copy of this has it's certain place on one of my walls. So, John brought us democracy and Richard brought us romance and legend. No wonder the afterworld prefer the knight... (Well, for myself, I prefer their wonderful and awful mother. But I'll tell that story some other time. She is truly worthy a chapter of her own.)

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