What could Henry have done ?

Friday, 11 December, Year 12 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

We're not talking about the eigth, gimme a break, who cares alreadyi, nor even the third. We're talking of Henry Plantagenet, king in England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine jure uxoris, Count of Anjou (hence "Angevin") and Maine (no, it's not in the US). You know, Empress Mathilde's runt. Do you ever indulge this sort of writer's cramp whereby you pick some historical event and attempt alternative playouts in your mind ?

I do, and in which spirit, here's what ole Henry might've done :

  • Introduce royal communications between somewhere abouts Calais (in his dominion) and somewhere maybe towards Dover (in his dominion), by mandating one ship sails each way with every tide, to take passengers and cargo across for free at first. Because, self-obviously, if your land's centered on a body of water that Mare Nostrum becomes the necessary focus of ownership policy.
  • Actually declare the putative "Angevin Empire", proclaim himself Augustus Emperor of the Western World and let the HRE & co sort it out for themselves. If well supported with practical measures such an ideological claim might have very well quashed the Capetian pretenders out of all possible shape, resulting in quite an actionable basis for Richard (if Richard were worth two shits, which...).
  • To go with the foregoing, assassinated Phillip 2. Most definitely.
  • Made it the law that no man may be ordained priest who had not spent three years working in the king's chancellery or wherever ordered by the king. If nothing else this'd have produced ample supplies of illuminated manuscripts (although other skunkwork-y projects such as improvements in taxation management or education might well have come out of it, depending on the quality of his Lord Chancellor), though it might just as well have elegantly pre-empted that whole ulterior sadness.
  • Burned at the stake, specifically for heresy, any bishop who ordained a priest incorrectly ; starting with Thomas Beckett, who I'm sure must've done something quite like it. It's not enough, it's not even helpful to kill the moron ; for instance if I ever decide to lighten the world of a few CIA agents / FBI agents / whatever USG-blue dorks, it'll be through public raping and hanging-by-own-guts, not through shooting, what the hell.
  • Perhaps extended the foregoing towards "no man may marry who's not served in the king's army for a year" eventually, though that rather sounds like it'd take some doing. Introduced a system to mirror the Church's nunneries (ie, places where girls infirm, undowriable or otherwise not attractive enough to mary well could safely be placed out of the way), whereby second and ulteriror sons could be given up to the crown, to learn archery or whatever, damsel raping. "I care not who fucks upon my cost, nor who my garments wears..." A good idea's a good idea, what.
  • Found a good location for a major iron mineii, and built it up, including with such machinery as could be in the period had, and then constructed a metalworking center around itiii. If this takes whole flocks of sheeps being herded that way on some sort of regular schedule, all the better, whole flocks of sheep will be thus herded. The people managing the shipping lanes across the Channel can branch out ; and if this means invading Denmark or the future Dutch or something... whatever. Frisian barbarians, what do they know anyways.

Fun times!

  1. All the precious fucking cuntlets can't possibly get enough of the supposed "demure" young bitch and oh-how-dramatique and overwhelmingly interesting her life was!!!

    I didn't even review Anne of a thousand days specifically out of spite for this moronic demo. Also because it's a terrible fucking film, not to mention that miserable Bujold fucktard could spoil a picnic, let alone a cinematic production, however doomed-from-the-start Bridget Boland's involvement promised it'd be. But great actresses can still shine in horrid films, though it does require parts the contemporary girlies manifestly lack. []

  2. This is because the moderate needs of the time could well have been served from a single well-developed location, to capitalize maximally on sunk costs. []
  3. Which'd necessarily drive cultural supremacy, because swords sold well back in those days. Together with a glut of written works, the basis is well set. []
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