Two weeks ago, K and I spent the day in Carlisle, England. We visited the big castle that overlooked the town and learned about its role in the border disputes (depending on what side of the border you’re on, you get a different story, of course). We also learned that Mary, Queen of Scots stayed there first as a guest, then as a prisoner by the order of Elizabeth I before she was eventually executed.
The whole purpose of the trip was to visit K’s family and take in a few sights, which we did. It didn’t occur to me that after all those years of studying courses like English Literature, Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, British History, Arthurian Literature, and The History of the English Language, that it would all suddenly become somewhat relevant.
As I later learned, Britain is building some huge warehouses in the Scottish Highlands to store all their history. Apparently the musuems and castles can’t hold it all so English Heritage is cutting away some of the chaff. This way people can see the exciting, sexy history and don’t have to concern themselves with the duller likes of King Ethelred the Unready.