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Byrithnoth Failing Dismally | by Will Kemp
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Byrithnoth Failing Dismally

A poem about the battle of Maldon, written around the 10th century, is one of the most famous of the surviving old English manuscripts. The battle was between a group of Saxons, led by Brythnoth, and a bunch of Viking invaders. Bythnoth's mob lost dismally.

 

This statue of Brythnoth caused a lot of controversy when it was first erected. Many people were opposed to defacing this beautiful open space with a statue of a mythical loser.

 

The reason the statue was sited in this spot is because of a dubious theory - concocted by an American academic, during a brief visit to the area - that the battle was fought on the causeway to Northey Island, which can be seen on the horizon. However, many local people don't believe that was where the battle took place at all.

 

And, even if it was, there seems to be very little point in Brythnoth standing here waving his sword impotently at the Vikings across the river!

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Taken on December 9, 2007