GREAT BRITAIN: 449 & All That

It was VK-day along Britain's Kentish coast. The 80-foot, dragon-prowed Viking-style Hugin* was beached, and from it poured 53 warriors with knives between their teeth and spears in their hands. Several of the invaders wore horn-rimmed spectacles under their horned helmets; all had month-old beards. None of the 50,000 waiting Britons ran away.

The invasion was a promotion stunt cooked up to encourage tourist trade and to commemorate the landing in 449 of the Saxon chiefs Henges & Horsa. To greet last week's seafaring Danes (and put them in their place), a British band struck up Britannia, Rule the Waves.

Viking Chief...

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