Harts Ease

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The Isle of Harty. TH

Riddley Walker has at times been compared to Beowulf. A couple of years ago someone came up with the (admittedly tenuous) theory that the action of Beowulf in fact took place not in Scandinavia but in the vicinity of Harty Island. MJ This was a conjecture by the archeologist Paul Wilkinson, who discovered buried boats on Harty that he believed to be of Germanic origin. In the 11th century, Harty was called Heorot, also the name of King Hrothgar's hall in Beowulf. Wilkinson proposed (British Archeology, 39, November 1998) that Beowulf actually described an early Germanic settlement in North Kent. EB