I started reading John O’Farrell’s bestseller ‘An Utterly Impartial History of Britain or 2000 Years of Upper Class Idiots in Charge‘. I am up to 900AD when I came across this fascinating piece of trivia about a Viking invader who laid waste to Britain, Harald Bluetooth (Harald I of Denmark):

"Bluetooth" now more commonly refers to the Bluetooth wireless specification designed to enable cable-free connections between computers, mobile phones, PDAs, printers, etc. Bluetooth in these devices is named after this king. The Bluetooth logo consists of the Nordic runes for its initials, H and B (Long-branch runes version). Harald is regarded as having united (if temporarily) Denmark, Norway, and Sweden under a single king.

Interesting piece of trivia and fantastic book. I love this passage talking about the conversion of pagans in Britain to Christianity (563AD):

‘Although word of the gospel spread rapidly, the Anglo-Saxons took a few decades to get it. They believed in the one and only God as set out in the first commandment, while still worshipping all the other Norse gods just to be on the safe side. One pagan king said that if he had been at the crucifixion of Christ he would have avenged it and slain all responsible. At which there was an embarrassed pause and the Christian missionary sighed and said ‘Right, let’s start again …..”

‘Of course, early Saxon Christian converts understood that the word of the gospel was not to be taken literally. Where it says ‘Thou shall not kill’, they were sophisticated enough to appreciate that this was a metaphorical commandment, and one interpretation might be: ‘Kill everyone who stands between you and seizing power”

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