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Marya Bell

One appears to be justified in suggesting that whoever published "The Life and Times of Penda" has no interest in high-quality scholarship about Anglo-Saxon England. Or is it perhaps against their principles to recognise such scholarship?

Among the questions the piece raises are: Firstly - who wrote it? Secondly - Why does the person not cite his/her sources accurately? Concerns continue to such details as: Why does the person anachronise by mixing terms like "Hwicce" and "Gloucestershire"? Finally, one observes - The text also needs competent proofreading by someone educated in, and at home with, English.

Overall, this piece is ignorant, arrogant, supercilious, presumptuous, and cavalier. Unless they want a reputation for publishing low-quality work, whoever is behind HISTORYOFENGLAND.TYPEPAD.COM should know better than to propagate such an article.

The History of England

Ouch. Thanks for you comments, Marya. To try to answer your questions; firstly, it's me, David Crowther that wrote this.

I wouldn't say I have no interest in high quality scholarship. But clearly my article is not intended to be such a thing. It's there to accompany a podcast, and my purpose is to engage and tell the story of Anglo saxon England. I would not pretend to be a scholar, shedding new light on Anglo Saxon history. But I do try to be accurate - and am delighted for you to point out where i am demonstrably wrong. From time to time people do this - and I am happy to put it right where I agree.

That also has an impact on style and referencing. I am not going to hold up the narrative with constant referencing to the pantheon of academics - but you'll see I do reference generally the main books I've used in a link to the website.

On the use of anachronistic terms - I am guilty as charged. The reason I do that is that people like the Hwicce are reasonably obscure; I think it helps to relate them to modern terms.

Proofreading is not a personal talent. You are right in that.

Finally ignorant, arrogant, supercilious, presumptuous - ouch is all I can say.


Quoting Grandma (from ep. 40: Bishop Trouble of THoE):
Never apologize and never explain.

I find the podcast to be utterly delightful as well as fascinating, and it brightens up my Sundays, which are here, alas, weekdays.

People really should be aware that history as a scientific discipline and history as a narrative, even it if draws on scholarly work, are two different things, and I think (and let me know if I'm wrong here, David) this podcast isn't meant to be a Scholarly piece, but merely a way of telling the story of Anglo-Saxon England, in which it excels.

Personally, I enjoy the use of both contemporaneous and current terms as it helps to connect my highly limited knowledge of the geopolitical map of Anglo-Saxon England and the slightly less limited knowledge of that of current England.

Regarding the typos - well, I treat the companion text on the website as notes while listening to the podcast, and the language of the podcast itself is very eloquent, or so at least it appears to me, not a native speaker.

Keep listening to your grandmother, Mr Crowther, her words are wise indeed.


I'm absolutely enjoying this podcast (and it's big brother) for what it is: an intelligent layman's look at Anglo-Saxon England. If I wanted High Scholarship, I'd go peruse musty books in my local uni's library. And, frankly, David's far more entertaining than some stuffy old PhD.

Finally, David, I'm disappointed you didn't accord Pybba with his proper title: as master of his own household, surely he was known as the "Grand Pybba."


I thoroughly enjoy your podcast David, please don't be discouraged by the comments you have received. Your article may have offended the commenter's academic sensibilities, but that does not mean she needs to resort to insults.
Your article needs to be viewed in the wider context of what you are seeking to do with your podcasts - it is for the layman, & it's fun!

The History of England

Thank you folks.

Timothy Bohn

A bit harsh and pedantic I think. I also think the reviewer said the same thing with four different words. I really do not think David has an exaggerated sense of self. In fact, he seems self deprecating. He helps me understand history. He also seems to engage some very good guest podcasters. I enjoy his podcast. Keep up the good work Mr. Crowther.


Well, I guess you've lost Marya Bell as a listener. ;)

The History of England

Yes, Peter, I suspect you are correct. Curses.

And thank you Timothy. Glad to see you recognise me as the world's most humble and greatest podcaster...ever...

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