York and Worcester: A Joke I Am Not Making In My Formal Paper

In 952, Eric ‘Bloodaxe’ invaded Northumbria, and all the Northumbrian lords went over to him at once. Later, when King Edmund (not the dead one) came along and took Northumbria back, Archbishop Wulfstan I of York was imprisoned because ‘he had been accused against the king’. Read: he went over to Eric along with the Northumbrian lords. Wulfstan I was later re-instated, and thenceforth (until 1016) the see of York was held in tandem with a southern see. This a) propped up the finances of the impoverished Archdiocese and b) was probably meant to tie the loyalties of the Northumbrian church more closely to the southern parts of England.

I’m about to argue that aim b) wasn’t exactly successful, with reference to Wulfstan II of York. I thought about making the old ‘like communism, works well in theory’ joke, but decided it was boring. Here are some other jokes I am not putting in my formal paper for the Centre for Medieval Studies:

* This arrangement was something like a threesome: looks good on paper, rarely turns out well in practice.

* This arrangement was something like a threesome: interesting in theory, but the end results were messy.

* This arrangement was something like a threesome: well intentioned, but loyalties were strained.

(H/T to Jeph of Questionable Content, who I believe was responsible for the original ‘threesomes are like communism’ line.)


On the other hand, while I am not making threesomes jokes before the Centre, I am using terrible alliteration. To whit: ‘the wonderous works of Wulfstan’. Yes, I have a great career ahead of me as a terrible academic punster.


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