Back in 1974, Alan Clarke directed a seminal 'Play for Today' written by David Rudkin under the title 'Penda's Fen', and the BFI summarises the plot thusly;
"Central to Rudkin's drama is the timelessness of the countryside and its place in the construction of 'Englishness'. At the beginning of the play, Stephen has a solid if somewhat conservative sense of nationality defined through his Christianity, his belief in the sanctity of marriage, faith in the military, distrust of socialism and a love of the music of Elgar. His encounters, coupled with the discovery that his father's beliefs are far from orthodox and his realisation that England has a religion much older than Christianity, compel Stephen to re-evaluate not only his own values, but also his notion of what it means to be English."I remember watching it as a lad. There's a single short clip available on Youtube of some interest to inverts, but I confess I didn't recall the auto-eroticism to any great extent; as far as I can remember, the conflict was between dark pagan forces and the salvation of Christianity (manifested through Elgar and the Regiment, of course) . It did nothing to alter my own distrust of Socialism.
Poor old Penda was no doubt dismayed by both his daughters, who not only converted to Christianity but retained their virginity throughout marriage. And his infant grandson Rumwold, who preached ceaselessly for his three days of life before expiring in an odour of sanctity.
Anglo-Saxon names are a source of joy to me. In J.I.M. Stewart's Oxford Quintet the dying J.B. Timbermill, modelled on J.R.R. Tolkein, lies paralysed in his North Oxford attic grasping for the most valued of his Anglo-Saxon artefacts, a scramaseax attributed to an Anglian king, descendent of Raedwald. "At the end he just kept repeating 'Anna' " reported the nurse; "was that his wife?"