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by User:Drmies, User:Brianann MacAmhlaidh and User:Bulwersator

John Gowers, mediæval historian extraordinaire![edit]

My name is John Gowers, and I'm a historian, proud dog owner, and hopefully one day a father too! I would love to chat about my work with you guys, but right now I'm busy writing a history novel based around the stories of the historical (Or were they? What a tantalizing question!) Anglo-Saxon Kings Esla and Gewis. It's pretty fun to do, and I love using Wikipedia for my research, since I have a passion for historical accuracy in everything I do.

You're welcome to edit my page or my talk, but A. Note that you will be forever classed as a vandal, and (more importantly) B. PLEASE USE UK ENGLISH!


Barnstar-stone2-noback.png The Epic Barnstar
I'm giving you a barn star for your excellent edits to history articles on Wikipedia. You have an enormous knowledge of the subject, and a great sense of humour. Also, I believe it was you who introduced the practice of adding a reference guide of mini-articles to various pages to make it easier to find relevant information. SO helpful! (talk) 14:48, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Ellipse sign 1.svg This user is ranked 1 on the list of Wikipedians by number of edits.

<-- LOL! I wish!


I am very excited that I've finally got round to writing the book I've been planning for a long time about various real historic (maybe(!) - I think so at least, although some seem not to agree with me.) Anglo-Saxon kings, in particular Esla and Gewis. It's going to be a partly historical novel, though since it's only my first I think I might aim for it to be only as good as 'The Tenant of Wildfell Hall' rather than as good as 'Great Expectations' (!!) You're welcome to leave feedback / help on my talk-page, or even on here, although if some people decide to abuse that right and start vandalizing my page, I might take it away.

Below are a couple of old versions of Wikipedia (Isn't it weird that Wikipedia has an article on itself? I wonder which came first.) pages, one of which I created and one of which I love as if it were my own. They were deleted by some vandals a little while ago, and what with my book and everything, I am only going to have time for 'periodic editing over months' as User:Agricolae so deftly put it, so I'm not going to have time to fight back, delete user-pages etc. in order to get my way. So I preserve them here, in case any users actually want to find stuff out about Esla and Gewis:

Esla (Anglo-Saxon King)[edit]

Esla appears in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as the son of Gewis and a descendant of Woden. He is also described as the father of Elesa, the father of Cerdic of Wessex who invaded Britain and founded the kingdom of Wessex. That an earlier pedigree of the kings of Bernicia is very similar, except that it has Bernic, eponymous ancestors of the Bernicians, in the same place as the later Wessex pedigree substitutes Gewis, eponymous ancestor of the Gewisse or West Saxons, has led to the suggestion that the later Wessex pedigree may have been modified from that of the Bernicians. Elsa is just a mythical, probably invented, name in a mythical pedigree, that doesn't even belong to the family that is supposedly supplying the notoriety (the original pedigree was hijacked from the Bernician kings).

Some Speculation there has been[edit]

There has been some speculation which connects Esla to the Gothic name Ansila and in late Welsh sources, a figure with the (possibly Gothic) name Osla, nicknamed Cyllellfawr "Big-Knife" in Welsh. Other scholars may have argued that the name is Brythonic.

Possible Non-Existence[edit]

It is possible that Esla never existed. Kenneth Sisam makes a strong argument that Esla was simply invented to provide an alliterative couplet with Elesa, demanded when the intrusion of the heroic pair of Wig and Freawine into the borrowed Bernician pedigree set up a pattern of alliteratively-coupled names.

References and external links[edit]

Preceded by
Supposed Ancestor of the kings of Wessex Succeeded by


Gewis appears in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as the son of Wig and a descendant of Woden. He is also described as the father of Esla, the father of Elesa, the father of Cerdic of Wessex who invaded Britain and founded the kingdom of Wessex. That an earlier pedigree of the kings of Bernicia is very similar, except that it has Bernic, eponymous ancestors of the Bernicians, in the same place as the later Wessex pedigree substitutes Gewis, eponymous ancestor of the Gewisse or West Saxons, has led to the suggestion that the later Wessex pedigree may have been modified from that of the Bernicians.

References and external links[edit]

Preceded by
Supposed Ancestor of the kings of Wessex Succeeded by

More wikipedia content posts coming soon, as I write my book!

Se you all later!


Wikipedia content[edit]

  • Feeling snackish, might have a salad... J.Gowers (talk) 11:04, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Quote of the century: 'What you've been doing with Gewis is pretty' - Sorry, Drmies! ([1]) J.Gowers (talk) 11:09, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Had the salad: it was delish! J.Gowers (talk) 11:23, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Just putting the finishing touches on the pre-first-draft draft of the middle section of the chapter where Cerdic's clan name themselves after Gewis in recognition of his heroic deeds. I wnat it to be as moving as possible, and to emphasize not only the historical importance of Gewis, but also the more romantic and heroic elements of Gewis as a person, building up a picture of what he might have been like from the information that User:Agricolae allows me to keep on Wikipedia. I find Gewis such a moving personality: what must he have been thinking as Cerdic's clan did him the ultimate honour. The chapter will be beautiful in its understatement, I hope. J.Gowers (talk) 11:53, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • My broter just touched down in LA; I'm so excited for him! J.Gowers (talk) 12:04, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Just had lunch: two whole giant salmon, with cherry tomatoes, anchovies and green beans. From a Jamie Oliver recipe. Mmm... think I'll have a lie down now....
  • Why, just fancy that! I lay down eleven hours ago and I only just woke up! Must have been all the time I spent AfDing people's user-pages in the internet was tiring! J.Gowers (talk) 23:12, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Sorry for the two blog posts so close together, but I just noticed that this very user-page is the second result on Google when you search for 'Esla'! Not bad, eh: what more could an historian hope for? J.Gowers (talk) 23:16, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • It appears I am now officially classed by Wikipedia as a Saxon ([2])! C'mon, guys: I know I edit these pages a lot, but I'm not that old! J.Gowers (talk) 23:26, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Got a theory about our friends: they're just having a joke at the expense of the new guy; that would explain their frequent deletion of really quite good pages. C'mon, guys: I wasn't born yesterday! J.Gowers (talk) 14:07, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Sad news: this page is not in fact the second result on Google when you search for 'Esla'. I tried it just now in the Internet cafe and it was nowhere to be seen. I think it was just Google tailoring itself to my personal browsing history. Oh well.... :-( J.Gowers (talk) 17:06, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I just went to a Topshop to buy some sweets. I was the only guy in there! J.Gowers (talk) 16:37, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm very excited about Thailand! J.Gowers (talk) 22:50, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Quote of the millennium, by our friend Anna Frodesiak (I hope the obvious pun in that name isn't intentional) - let me get this straight - 'You are like a guy who eats in a soup kitchen every day and then starts hitting the volunteers in there and trashing the place.' I honestly don't know what to say. Yes I do: Wikipedia:AGF Wikipedia:NPA! LOL! J.Gowers (talk) 23:01, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Might be going to Altenburg and Leipzig with my brother at the end of the month! I'll post pics when I have them. J.Gowers (talk) 23:41, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I haven't blogged for a little while, so this is just to say 'Hi!'. Don't be shy, people: contribute to the Gewis chapter! J.Gowers (talk) 14:27, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Haven't blogged for ages! Wonder how our friends are getting on.... J.Gowers (talk) 23:33, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Beginning to change my mind about our favourite article. I think that Gric-gric and Mies-dog have put a really useful article together. I must get that book by Kenneth Sisam! J.Gowers (talk) 00:30, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I've had a bit of fun creating joke Wikipedia articles - you can find them here and there. Also, guys PLEASE start contributing to the Gewis chapter. Ta! J.Gowers (talk) 16:33, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Here's to hoping Jimbo and Lamar can come up with a solution together!  Sandstein  15:28, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Pretty cool new sig, eh?  J.Gowers  15:47, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Some editors are so trigger happy. Whatever happened to WP:AGF?  J.Gowers  21:51, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Haven't blogged for ages. This is just to say - the book's coming on great, although none of you are contributing to the Gewis Chapter I put below (Grrr...) C'mon guys - you never know how good it might be till you give it a try!  J.Gowers  19:49, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Been ages since I've blogged! Just to say, there's a General Election coming up in the UK, so those of you who are from this side of the pond, I don't care whom you vote for, just vote! OK, I've said my piece. There is nothing more to say. Gonna start trying to contribute regularly over here!  J.Gowers  21:04, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Literally cannot believe that it has been over a year since I last did the bloggity-bloo dance! If you're interested in what I've been up to, check out my contributions page!!!  J.Gowers  17:29, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

A Nice New Idea[edit]

Since (as I have recently found) writing a novel is actually quite hard work, I've decided that you, the Wikipedia community, can help me out with it. My idea is to have a sort of 'role play' on this page where you can all add your bits to the story, then I can edit it before sending it to the publisher. Please make sure your bits of story are completely consistent with what is known about the history of Esla and Gewis etc. (although if some people had their way, no one would get to know anything about these kings at all) and, above all, PLEASE USE UK ENGLISH!!! I have already written several sections of the book, but I'm going to write the beginning of a chapter which you guys can help me continue. It would be especially useful if you could include lots of links in your posts, and references to historical sources would be much appreciated. See you soon! J.Gowers (talk) 23:23, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Just while I'm here....[edit]

I'm sorry to have taken so long over getting the chapter to you so you guys can 'roleplay' it, but I've been spending the weekend making this memorial to my previous dog (not the one I currently own, but one I had about four years ago which died). The chapter is coming soon, though, so don't worry!

YellowLabradorLooking new.jpg

J.Gowers (talk) 22:36, 3 July 2011 (UTC)


J.Gowers (talk) 22:57, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Nuvola apps edu languages.svg
Hello, J.Gowers. You have new messages at J.Gowers's talk page.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Gewis Chapter[edit]

This is your chance to contribute to what I hope will be a great book. As you can probably see, I've left it on rather an exciting cliff hanger, so sharpen those pencils (or typing fingers) and get writing! I will not necessarily use the material that you write in the book, but I might pick and choose bits of it that are really good. Thank goodness that Wikipedia is all public domain! Off you go: here it is! DON'T FORGET TO USE UK ENGLISH!!

England in September is a mess of reds and oranges, a land of tall trees and silly little breezes and children jumping into piles of leaves. Nowadays, of course, the fields are often filled with odd bits of semi-dismantled machinery, but back when old Esla was king there was probably only the odd cow plodding slowly across the farmland.
Prince Gewis slowly followed the cow with his eyes as it walked across the land. His land. A little flock of birds was flying through the air, their noisy song filling his ears as if it were the most beautiful music. He pursed his lips as he realized that now, for perhaps the first time in many months, he felt happy.
Cerdic’s tribe had now been called the ‘Gewissae’ in his honour for several days, and it was just starting to hit home to Gewis what a huge honour it was to have a whole tribe named after you. He tried to imagine all those warriors putting on their clothes in the morning, grasping their long hard swords and getting ready to fight in his, his, name.
And he lay back on the bed and laughed.
He had never felt so elated in his life. All his life he had lived in his father’s shadow, had been worried that he would be just another name in the history books – ‘the son of Esla, son of Elesa’ – but now he knew that he had truly left a legacy. Not even his father Esla had had a tribe named after him.
The mid-morning calm was shattered by a sudden commotion downstairs. Craning his neck further out of the window, he could make out a horse and cart. The cart had the king’s crest printed on to it.
At that moment a sweaty, worried-looking man burst into the room, grasping a scroll. He seemed almost too afraid to speak, so Prince Gewis pulled the scroll from his hand, and began to read….J.Gowers (talk) 21:42, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

A Little Joke[edit]

I apologise to all my WikiFollowers for my long absence. The thing is, I haven't been all that productive recently: I've been writing bits of my book (which no one has helped me out with, by the way - Grrr..) and feeling sad about my poor dead dog, so my recent Wikipedia edits have been exclusively devoted to correcting grammar, punctuation and spelling in various Wikipedia articles: as the more conscientious among you might have noticed, the wrong use of 'due to' as a conjunction (rather than the more correct 'owing to') is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. So what with this or that, I haven't had much time to write many blog posts, delete vandals' user-pages (My apologies, Agri: I realize that joke is probably wearing a little thin now) and write individual reference guides etc. but in the meantime here's a little joke:

The page has been moved here....

That's all for now, folks. And in future I will be using the Wikipedia Content section for "Wikipedia content" posts. See you all soon. J.Gowers (talk) 20:54, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

P. S. Some light bedtime reading: [3]. XX, JG.