It being May 17th, Eleanor has a vague feeling that something, somewhere, should be celebrated, but, she is far ahead of her time in her imaginings. Syttende Mai, the seventeenth of May, is celebrated in Norway as Norwegian Independence Day or Norwegian Constitution Day, begun in 1814. Of course, to her knowledge, Norway, at this time in 1272 is still full of scary Vikings, who raided her native England far too often in the past. Interestingly enough, and as you may know, dear readers, in 1066, Willliam of Normandy (aka “William the Norseman”) invaded England with his Normans from northern France (read “Vikings”), and brought some civilization to the woad-painted, animal-skin-wearing inhabitants of the Brititsh Isles, including the kinds of laws that created the Magna Carta in 1225.
Perhaps Eleanor herself has some Viking blood? If ’tis true, she may be more than a match for the scary characters she knows only too well…say, William of Litchfield, who continues to scheme upon her with his wily, scabrous ways. There is always that infamous –(but, oh, be still my heart!)– Lord Hugh to contend with, as well, but, well, in all honesty, Eleanor wishes she had more to celebrate with him than just Syttende Mai….