I have always felt that Richard III had the rough end of the stick. I know I am not the only Historian to feel this.
This blog post is sort of an accumulation of the excellent but squew whiff Shakespearian history filled with Tudor prejudice I saw at the Globe portrayed by the amazing Mark Rylance. (see previous blog for Review)
This week Leicester University also announced an archaeological dig to hunt for the remains of King Richard III. The dig is taking place in a council owned car park that is on the site of the Greyfriars monastery in the shadow of the present day cathedral of Leicester. There is a memorial slab in the cathedral but it would be fitting if his remains could be interred there too. They have DNA from a distant relative to the family which will help identify the bones if they are discovered.
I would like to hope that even in the Tudor mind even after hanging is body up and showing it as war and battle bounty that the Tudors would have buried the king if not because he was royal but stop him becoming a martyr and attracting followers. I wish them all the luck in the world in there searches for this misunderstood king.
Then lastly there is a third reason why Richard III is haunting me. I have just read and finished Philippa Gregory’s latest offering in her series on the War of the Roses, The Kingmakers daughter. It follows the life of the youngest daughter of the earl of Warwick. The wheel of fortunes throws her many ups and downs as she obeys her father, her first mother in law Margaret of Anjou, her sister and her brother in law George Duke of Clarence, before escaping their clutches and marrying the future Richard III.
I found that Gregory would over repeat things frequently and I found that frustrating but that is about the only fault I can find with this book. I loved how she was able to turn the tables so effectively so that you could see this period of history from another perspective and through a woman’s eyes something that she excels at through her historical novels. But most important of all I love that she has shown a side to Richard III as a loyal man, faithful husband loving father and guardian, as a lover and as a kind honourable man.
It is an easy read and great story even if you are not familiar with the history. So Philippa I would like to say thank you for making me fall in Love with Richard III a little bit more!