Ian Joseph is an alias. It’s not the name the author is known by in his everyday life. Here’s a hint to help you: the real author is a small, bald Yorkshire grandad who is quite good at sums and likes money. Not heaps and heaps of money, but old money – coins – coins dug out of the ground. Old coins that have been there for ages. Absolutely ages. He’s a bit of an expert in those fascinating fragments of lost history.
Just imagine finding a tiny little coin, dropped underfoot in deep mud at a medieval market in a little town not far from where you are now. Thirteen hundred years ago! It has not been touched by another human hand for that long! Thirteen hundred years!
It has no writing on it, just some weird design. You gently brush off the dry soil. You roll it round in your fingers but can’t make it out. You keep rolling it slowly and suddenly…there’s a face! A face staring straight at you! You’re sure it’s trying to tell you something, but you don’t understand. The language has changed. The message makes no sense.
You flip the coin to look at the other side, Again, you rotate the tiny round coin until you see something – you reel in surprise – it’s a snarling mouth with fangs and a twisting serpent tongue! Now you see the whole frightful monster head.
That’s just one of hundreds and hundreds of different designs on England’s remarkable early pennies. They’ll make no sense to you just yet, but if you work hard enough, one day they will, and a wonderful treasure trove of forgotten fragments of history will burst open.
For you. Just for you. It’s a gift.
Nobody knows about it but us. Should we tell?