Tag: beowulf

History on the Screen 2: Thanks Be to GOT!


Thank heavens for the success of Game of Thrones!



Its huge wave of popularity emboldended moneymen, er, TV producers to greenlight similar shows set grimly & grimily in that distant past of dark armor, shields & swords that gives Game of Thrones its look and feel.

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Surging forth first (or at least most notably) on this cashflow has been the epic & popular “Vikings”, and now “The Last Kingdom”, a BBC adaptation from a book in a series by British historical novelist and former news correspondent Bernard Cornwell that chronicles goings-on in England in the centuries before the year 1000.

And it’s awesome.

Statue_d'Alfred_le_Grand_à_WinchesterIt’s set during the reign of King Alfred the Great of England, so in the late decades of the 800s AD/Common Era (CE). Like stories &960 copy cinematic adaptations before such as Little Big Man, it inserts a fictional character into totally historically accurate situations to tell the past context in human detail.

For now, and for any fan of the show, here’s a chart I’ve done showing Alfred’s descendants for a few generations. Click on it and in the new tab click it again so you can check it out in detail if you like. More on this show later.

alfred the great family tree, wessex, anglo-saxons, mercia, northumbria, essex, kent, last kingdom, edward the confessor family tree, edmund ironside, winchester, louis iv of france, aethelred, eadwig, eadred, aethelstan, english, eadgar, early english kings family tree, by kylen Campbell, famtracking

More on the show next time.



150th Part 2

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We all celebrate birthday weeks these days, yeah? So let’s say I’m extending the same courtesy to my dear old namesake great-grandmother, Selma Kylen.




First, a little reality check: in Osterbitterna, where she was born, it’s 17 degrees Farenheit today! (-2 Celsius)! Yowzah!




So as part 2 of the info celebrating her, this post is the beginning of the “big reveal” as to what it turns out her last name and my first name mean. (Reminder, or background for any 1st time readers: She was born Jan 10, uni_i_m_m1845c1864 in southwestern Sweden & came to the US in 1880, married an American named Frank Campbell in Minnesota, etc etc. Her birth last name can also be considered to have been Selma Svensdotter; her dad was named Sven Andersson, but while in the Swedish army he received, as was the practice, the soldier name–soldaten namen–of “Kylen”, and the name was passed on to/used by himself and some of his 9 kids, including Selma. These days it means “the fridge” in Swedish, but other leads point to another meaning.)AXE 1


This is the place that was (almost certainly) the location where Sven was trained 2093_1910Aand served in the army back in the 1840s. Thus it’s the place where he received the moniker that would Picture 8eventually find its way to being my name. These uniforms from the period are approximately what he would’ve been wearing in those days.

More to come!