I am reading the Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell at the moment. I’m really enjoying it and will have more to say when I’m done, but as an initial thought I would like to mention that I am struck by how much like a Daily Mail reader Merlin is. He wants to purge all foreigners from Britain, thinks their religions are savage and weak even though his own is pretty debauched, appears to be pretty fast and loose with his own faith when it suits him, and enjoys shagging women much younger than himself. Sure, the Saxons are actually a violent and bloodthirsty race but I’ve yet to see any sign of anything except moral equivalence in the story. The only thing they’ve done worse than the Britons so far is to paint their shields with blood. And in any case, when did the facts about foreigners sway a Daily Mail reader’s views?

Arthur, on the other hand, is clearly a Guardian reader. He accepts all religions and wants peace, and won’t do anything barbaric himself, but is too much the moral relativist to do anything about the terrible behavior of his fellow tribesmen, and obviously has a wide streak of viciousness himself when push comes to shove. Polly Toynbee with a sword, that is. Also, he likes to think he’s all about peace and justice but you’ll never catch him genuinely doing anything radical to overthrow the accepted order of things.

I guess that means Nimue reads the Sun, and Lancelot – like Elle McPherson – has never read anything he didn’t write himself. The rest of them don’t seem to be able to read at all, or maybe they only buy the Daily Mail for the crossword, so I suppose nothing’s really changed in 1500 years. You were a failure, Arthur, face it!

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