The people’s choice – part 2

And still they keep coming. No, not London Marathon runners dressed in unwieldy animal costumes staggering down The Mall hours after the race has been won, but comments with aboslutely nothing whatsoever to do with my not exactly epiphany-inducing post following up by paper of Woking Hundred. Here’s what the cat dragged in over the past few weeks…

From Poland comes the following salutation;

“It’s actually a great and useful piece of info. I’m happy that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.”

Now this sounds almost like a genuine positive response. Almost. Bryce writes at greater length;

“I’m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.”

Now I wouldn’t want to take the credit for someone else’s idea, outstanding or otherwise, but I would concur that there simply aren’t enough people talking about the tenth and eleventh-century economy. I mean, what’s happening in today’s economy that is so important it has to dominate the news to the virtual exclusion of analysis of equivalent trends from a millennium ago?

I reckon there’s more than enough people talking about sex on the internet. Sikis is one of them. After a flattering gambit, their comment quickly unravels into what reads a lot like a filthy prayer;

“Congratulations on your site that is always open to innovation. Thank you Free Porn, porno, sex, xxx management [name of a non-medieval website I’m clearly not going to mention] Thank youu videos”

No thanks to youu. Posting these comments has deepened my sense that I may have started something I can never finish, and new pages dedicated to comments on previous pages will create an inescapable vicious circle. However, I couldn’t leave it without reproducing a couple linked to the precursor to this page. Ignoring the flagrant adverts for fat burners which the sender think I might like (FYI, I keep trim by walking to work and back six days a week), first up I give you Strategies For Marketing perspective on it;

“Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how could i subscribe for a weblog website? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I were tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright transparent concept”

“Fantastic beat” and a “bright transparent concept”? Who would have guessed spammers would take so kindly to being mocked. Unfortunately SFM, we’re not looking to take on any apprentices at the moment, but just in case this blog somehow turns into the next Instagram but we’ll keep your name on file.

Finally, from someone who purports to be a fan of the Playstation 2, I received the following congratulation;

“Many thanks for an unbelievable submit, will examine one’s others posts. thanks for your ideas for this, I felt a bit struck by this text. Merit again! You earn a great point. Got some wonderful report here. I do think that when more people thought of it like this, they’d have got a better time obtain the suspend ofing the issue.”

What a fanboy. That said, “Merit again!” has become my new favourite catchphrase. Now let this be an end to this foolish charade.

On a more serious note, I’ve started thinking about the ways in which the subject of the chapter with which my aforementioned popular post was concerned can be correlated with two of the preliminary findings of the ongoing Landscapes of Governance project, specifically in relation to Guildford. First, the town’s position at the junction of three Hundreds – Woking, Blackheath and Godalming – is reminiscent of Huntingdon, another tenth-century burghal town which lies at the intersection of four Hundreds, which points to the territorial pattern coming into being at the same time as the burh. Second, a survey of the archaeological evidence has indicated there is rarely any sign of truly urban-style settlement activity from medieval towns before the late tenth or early eleventh centuries, decades after the supposed commencement of the late Anglo-Saxon “urban revolution” circa 900. If this is the case and there is a connection to be made between the proliferation of small (lænland) estates and urbanised mercantilism then it might suggest that there were few reasons for such estates to come into being in the hinterland of Guildford before it became sufficiently well established as a town.

The first point seems fairly straightforward, and links in with the essay I’ve been writing on ingas place-names and early Anglo-Saxon territories (which I’ve had to put on the back burner for the next few weeks at least). The second is harder to apply to Guildford for, as things stand, there is more or less no archaeological evidence to draw upon (with the important exception of coinage produced by the town’s mint). As such it’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario as to whether Guildford as a proto-urban centre was inserted into a landscape of mixed large and small estates, or whether its establishment was the catalyst for the creation of local lænland (and bocland?) landholdings. It’s a point that merits more detailed and extensive deliberation, and I have decided that, after writing the note on the Guildown cemetery I mentioned once upon a time (perhaps towards the end of this year), I’m going to pen an analytical overview of Anglo-Saxon Guildford from circa 500-1100, which will draw together a number of strands of research done by myself or others. But that’s a good year off, and no doubt before that day comes I will have posted many more edited spam comments such as the above.

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