People who buy into the narrative of history as unbroken progress from the miserable past to the glorious present graced by our magnificent selves should ask how a 10th-century king of England could be called “Edgar the Peaceful” and have relatives with titles like “the Magnificent” and “the Great”.
There were problems and evil deeds in those days too, but anyone who remembers the 20th century should be a little less ready to call the 11th the “Dark Ages”.
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