Introductions/Why Richard III?

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Introductions/Why Richard III?

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1myshelves
Apr 24, 2007, 8:28 pm

This group doesn't seem to have gone very far, so I'm trying to start at the beginning to see if it can be brought to life. Please join in!

My interest in Richard was sparked by reading The Daughter of Time. I wanted to know how much was true, so I hit the library. A couple of years later, I found and joined the R III Society, and went on their tour for my first trip to England. That was many years and many books ago. :-) I'm still intrigued by all aspects of the Wars of the Roses.

How did you become interested in Richard III?

2myshelves
Apr 24, 2007, 8:52 pm

That's strange. LT lost part of my topic. It was "Introductions/Why Richard III?"

3mansfieldhistory First Message
Apr 24, 2007, 9:19 pm

I started being interested by studying Richard III by shakespere and the Princes in the Tower by Alison Wier. I also love the whole plantagenet/war of the roses era and seeing as Richard III is the last ruling plantagenet ... :)

4GoodbyeCleo
Apr 24, 2007, 9:31 pm

I really enjoyed reading Sharon Kay Penman's The Sunne in Splendor. That book got me interested in history's perhaps unfair portrayal of Richard III.

5arkham
Apr 24, 2007, 9:33 pm

I became interested in Richard III through The Daughter of Time as well. I was fascinated by it, and like you began reading more. I particularly like Paul Murray Kendall's Richard the Third. I've considered joining the RIII Society, but the costs have been prohibitive, what with student loans and professional society fees, and various other things in life.

6aluvalibri
Apr 25, 2007, 9:11 am

Like GoobyeCleo I became interested in Richard III through The Sunne in Splendour. Add to it the fact that the king and I (no pun intended) were born on the same day (October 2nd)... no wonder I am a strong supporter of the theory he was not a monster!

7bookladykm
Apr 25, 2007, 10:41 am

My introduction to RIII was We Speak No Treason, quickly followed by The Sunne in Splendour. As the saying goes, history is written by the victor and after reading Daughter of Time it seems more likely that Richard was a victim of bad press and a clever smear campaign by those rotten Tudors.

8littlebookworm
Apr 25, 2007, 11:27 am

I'm newly interested in Richard III - my introduction was through The Sunne in Splendour also. Since then I've read a few historical fiction works with him involved, and I'm going to seek out proper history as soon as I've thinned my TBR pile a bit. I'm quite fascinated by him, and how history has maligned him.

9bookladykm
Apr 25, 2007, 11:34 am

littlebookworm, Daughter of Time, though fiction, is a good summary of "the facts." It's a good place to quickly find out what supporters of Richard believe is evidence of his innocence. Then move on to other works such as Paul Murray Kendall's Richard III.

10myshelves
Apr 25, 2007, 10:32 pm

Another good introduction is a book that has been used in school courses: To Prove a Villain: The Case of King Richard III by Taylor Littleton and Robert Rea.

It includes Tey's novel, Shakespeare's play, More's "history," the Croyland chronicles, etc. etc.

There is also a lot of material online at http: //www.r3.org/bookcase/index. html (close up the spaces left)

11Seajack
Apr 25, 2007, 11:49 pm

I went back to school for a 2nd degree at the tender age of 38; that college required me to take a Lit course. We read R3, as well as viewing the film "Looking for Richard" by Al Pacino.
Last year I saw my first live performance of the play. There was scaffolding as part of the set; Mad Margaret brooded up there, and it served to make Bosworth Field a 3-D affair.
I never realized R3 was another Libra.

12bleuroses
Edited: Apr 25, 2007, 11:59 pm

I agree that The Sunne in Splendor is a wonderful story about Richard III. (Sharon Kay Penman's other historical novels are also quite enjoyable.)

The film version featuring Ian McKellan as Richard, is a brilliant interpretation as well.

Daughter in Time also comes highly recommended. (I read it 15 years ago - and must now trod off to locate it for a reread!)

13chyleung First Message
Apr 26, 2007, 6:42 am

I have first encountered Richard III from a TV programme talking about the princes in the tower which is defending for Richard III. Afterthat I read The princes in the tower by Alison Weir and Royal blood by Bertram Fields at the same time, which gave me two totally different points of view on what Richard III did. I was fascinated at that time and now become deeply interested studying about him.

14Hera
Apr 26, 2007, 7:15 am

My father loved Richard III, so there were plenty of books about him in the house. I recognise most of those already mentioned. We read Daughter of Time as a class when I was 12, tied in to our history lessons with another Richard III supporter, Mrs Wigner (the best teacher I ever had, incidentally, in a lifetime of wonderful teachers).

I wrote a piece taking Shakespeare's historicity to task in English due to my dislike of Richard III and The Merchant of Venice. Then, I was 13 and my English teacher - Mrs Bennet, another inspirational teacher - was very sweet about receiving a twenty page essay in purple ink bound together with knitting wool. LOL.

I think we love the Richard III story because it's about an injustice, the traducing of his name by More, Shakespeare and others for political ends. The whole court intrigue of Tudors versus Yorkists and propaganda wars interested me very much as a teenager. Then again, on an artistic level, Richard III is a fabulous play to watch, with beautiful language, dark irony and a charismatic central character. Several London stagings have been amazing to watch.

15arkham
Apr 26, 2007, 9:12 am

A couple things struck me reading the other posts here.

1.Looking for Richard, the Pacino movie...for a guy supposed to be an expert on the play, it annoyed me no end that he changed the dialogue so that the prophecy said "C" for Clarence would murder Edward's heirs rather than "G" - assumed to be for George, but actually for Gloucester...it changes the fact that (in the play) the prophecy is fulfilled.

2.One the subject of More's slandering Richard's name for political ends...in a college history course, we analyzed More's History of Richard III. According to our analysis, More DID use the work for political ends, but probably not the ones you'd expect. He used the story of Richard III to make the case that valid English kingship came via Parliamentary approval. Richard III never had the approval of Parliament, therefore his rule was illegitimate.

Of course, More used Richard III to a large degree due to the fact that he was writing during the Tudor times and so it was popular to denigrate the Yorkist that Henry Tudor deposed.

16bookladykm
Apr 26, 2007, 12:08 pm

One sad outcome of Richard's story is what remains mostly unsaid or discussed. Richard was responsible for the foundation of western law (jury system, equality under the law).

17tanzanite
Apr 26, 2007, 5:00 pm

Last year I read The Sunne in Splendor by Penman and A Rose for the Crown and found Richard and his story fascinating. I have since aquired a couple of other books that I haven't read yet and am always on the look out for more.

I think his story is interesting - the way he aquired the crown and the way he lost it. The whole mystery of the princes just adds to it.

18myshelves
Apr 26, 2007, 11:13 pm

#15,

But Richard III did have the approval of Parliament. In spite of Henry VII's efforts to have them destroyed unread, copies of Titulus Regius, the 1484 Act of Parliament settling the crown on Richard III, exist. You can read it on the site I mentioned in post #10.

19Macbeth
Apr 28, 2007, 5:27 am

The Richard story would be one of the most novelised events in history, surpassed only by the King Arthur story. My favourite remains King's Ransom by Glenn Pierce or Some Touch of Pity by Rhoda Edwards.

I continue to feel sympathy for Richard but do not think he was entirely innocent. The Wars of the Roses began because a king (Henry V) died unexpectedly leaving a minor as heir (Henry VI). Rapacious Uncles began to take advantage of the regency.

The light at the end of the tunnel could be seen with Edward IV and the beginning of the Yorkist dynasty, only to have him die and leave the same situation. What was a loyal supporter to do?

The arguement in Daughter of Time that proving the illegitimacy of the princes made them no longer a threat is a nonsence. Alive, they were always a rallying point for the dissatisfied or dispossessed - otherwise the pretenders (Warbeck and Simmnel) would not have been able to generate significant following.

So here I stand - A Ricardian that thinks he had a hand in some of the underhand doings of his reign.

Cheers

20bookladykm
Apr 28, 2007, 12:05 pm

Excellent points, Macbeth. And that's the real beauty and might I say, fun of these discussions of history...the great, unsolved mysteries.

21myshelves
Apr 30, 2007, 12:34 am

This message has been deleted by its author.

22myshelves
Apr 30, 2007, 12:36 am

Macbeth,

Alive, they were always a rallying point for the dissatisfied or dispossessed

I agree with that part. But I can't see what good it would have done Richard to have them killed unless they were known to be dead. As long as they were believed to be alive, or their fate unknown, they remained a rallying point.

If Richard had "dunnit" I'd expect him to have had a cover story and to have given them a lovely and public funeral.

I don't think either he or Henry knew exactly what had become of the little brats... er ... I mean princes.

23BookAddictUK
Edited: May 4, 2007, 4:40 pm

Like several others here, my first introduction to the fascinating debate on Richard III was through Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time which my father, knowing I loved mystery fiction, gave me to read when we were studying the wars of the roses in school: His hope was to fire my interest in history generally, a subject which up to that point I'd thought rather dull. I'm not sure he expected his plot to work as well as it did but I ended up loving history and obsessed with debates around some of the people that history seems to have treated harshly - R3 and Anne Boleyn heading that list.

24LeeBlack
Jun 19, 2007, 1:07 pm

to myshelves,
First, I couldn't escape the contradiction of an admittedly formidable warrior with a motto of loyalty towards his sovereign to Shakespeare's malformed, self-seeking conniver. Then when I read more, I was ready to join The Richard lll Society also.
Penman's "The Sunne in Splendor" is something to read, if you haven't already.

Leeblack

25aluvalibri
Jun 19, 2007, 1:10 pm

Yes, LeeBlack, I agree with you. Reading The Sunne in Splendour made me see Richard III in a completely different light.

26LillyJames
Edited: Jun 22, 2007, 11:31 am

My interest in Richard III began when trying to discover if anything historically interesting had occurred on my birthday (I was young). How excited I was to learn that a Medieval king had died tragically on my birthday! The story of Richard's life and death and the mystery about him was so compelling that I became obsessed for awhile. (I was obsessed enough to walk all the way from Market Bosworth to Bosworth Battlefield a couple times. It's a long walk...)

As much as I would love to believe Richard is innocent, I simply don't have enough evidence to say with absolute certainty that he is. What seems likely to me is that he was manipulated and used by men who were more politically astute than him. (You have to remember that Richard was mainly a soldier, not a politician.) I would love it if anyone would look more deeply into Buckingham's role (more deeply than Richard III and Buckingham's Rebellion which seems to gloss over Buckingham's "oiliness"). He has always struck me as a man who had more power and influence than he should have had. In him, we might find the true villain of Richard's reign.

EDIT: As much as I enjoy the romantic historical fiction based on Richard's life and times, it's never been as satisfying or interesting to me as the cold, hard, historically factual literature about him.

27shetland First Message
Jun 28, 2007, 9:58 am

I liked English history in high school and started reading (in sequence) biographies of all the British monarchs. When I came to Richard III, I checked out a copy of Kendall from my local library. I never made it past Richard III... I checked out a copy of Ross next, and after that I was totally hooked.

28myshelves
Edited: Aug 21, 2007, 12:23 pm

#26

What an interesting way to get involved in medieval history!

When did you visit Bosworth? Before or after it was developed as a tourist attraction?

Buckingham is my main suspect, but I think he might have been being used by the Morton-Beaufort bunch. Did anyone see the mock trial done before 3 U.S. Supreme Court Justices? I loved it when Justice Souter* kept interrupting the anti-Richard attorneys to ask "Ah, but where was Buckingham?"

I agree about the actual records being more fascinating than all the fiction. I can't swear that Richard was innocent with regard to the Princes, but reading Tudor's "Act of Attainder" makes my blood boil. If only Richard had reached him that day!

*Edited to correct factual error. Seems it was Justice Breyer, not Souter, who was on the panel, and who had it in for Bucky.

29LillyJames
Jun 28, 2007, 6:57 pm

#28

Actually, it was my love of Medieval history that made me excited to learn that a Medieval king was "offed" on my birthday. :) I've been obssessed with the Middle Ages since I was very young. That's where princesses come from, after all! (I kid!)

I've only seen Bosworth as a tourist attraction. (The first visit was in 1992 and the last in 1996, I think.) The battlefield itself isn't touristy and it's really spectacular with amazing views of the surrounding area. I found the spot where Richard supposedly fell but I'm not convinced anyone really knows where that occurred. Regardless, it had me quite choked up. The people who worked at the visitor's centre were all incredibly nice. When I called for directions the first time, they sent someone out to meet me part way. It's a very long walk but it's through some of the most beautiful countryside imaginable - so very worth it!

It's always good to know that others don't think I'm nuts in my singling out of Buckingham! The only reason I'm not ready to think of him as a pawn, as well as Richard, is the fact that he was so slick. But he was definitely embroiled in the politics of his day so, who knows? I always find it unbelievable, and a bit depressing, that Richard fell for his act. He seems so obviously sinister to me!

I wish I'd seen the mock trial! It's something I always mean to look up and watch but things always come up and I put it off. Now I really must see it!

It's been much too long since I last looked in on Richard. He was a constant companion for years and I seem to have abandoned him. Sadly, my library is awaiting transport to Canada, back in the US, so the "visit" will have to be put off a bit longer. It's good to have this forum to talk about him, though!

30myshelves
Jun 28, 2007, 9:29 pm

Lilly,

I agree that the site isn't too touristy. I asked because my first visit was in 1973, when you had to get the farmer's permission, and dodge around the cows.

I attended a reenactment of the battle (all on foot) in 1984. Richard lost again, to a chorus of groans from most of the crowd. :-)

Have you been to Middleham? I love Middleham. And Minster Lovell? My favorite ruin.

It is odd the way Bucky justs pops up, with a small army, and joins Richard on the way to London. I think Bucky was rather vain.; look at his motto. And he did have a better claim to the throne (from Thomas of Woodstock) than Henry --- who had none. I suspect that he could have been used by people urging him to overthrow Richard and claim the throne, with the intention of dumping him if the rebellion succeeded. Do you lie awake wondering if he would have told Richard something important if he'd agreed to a final interview? :-)

31LillyJames
Jun 28, 2007, 10:52 pm

I wish I could have visited Bosworth at that time! :) It sounds like it was quite comical. I loved walking the Gated Lane through the farmer's lands. I had one farmer eye me like I was a looney for trying to befriend one of his sheep that was wandering about. I couldn't resist, though! I haven't had the luck to go for a reenactment yet but I intend to one day. Maybe Richard will win at last? ;)

I haven't been to Middleham or Minster Lovell, though I very much wish to visit both. I used to dream about those places. The only Ricardian places I've visited besides the battlefield have been York and Leicester. I loved both. I believe Leicester is where the Richard III Society put the statue of Richard. They made him look so sweet and innocent, which is not quite how I picture Richard but it is lovely. :)

I agree entirely about "Bucky" (I'm going to call him that from now on)! He just saunters in from nowhere and suddenly he's everyone's buddy. What frustrates me even more, however, is that so few historians chase after Bucky as a major villain. He's always off to the side, as though everyone accepts him just as he presented himself. Even Richard III and Buckingham's Rebellion didn't dig as deeply as I'd hoped. I remember waiting for that book to become available - I was hyperventilating with anticipation - and although it was well-written and interesting, it just didn't satisfy me. Bucky gets off the hook yet again.

Yes, I have lain awake far too many nights wondering what he wanted to tell Richard! :) Although, knowing Bucky, he would have just sweet-talked him, hoping to get out of trouble. I'm sure that's what Richard believed. These are the things that make the story so compelling, though!

32chyleung
Edited: Jul 15, 2007, 10:06 am

It's really interesting when I just read through Lilly's message about how she becomes interested in RIII. Initially when I found that he shared the same birthday with me (although I knew that the old calendar used at that time was different with ours), I can't forget it and can't stop thinking of him when I have my birthday.

Besides, will it be difficult to go to Bosworth? I have a plan to visit there but I don't know whether there is any public transport. (I don't know how to drive actually)

Last year when I went to Middleham Castle, I planned to walk from Leyburn because LP says that it's only 2 miles away. However when I arrived Leyburn and the TIC staff told me that the road is one-way and I better travelled there by bus. There were not much tourists, only 2 families are having their picnic. I am the only one on that day who is searching for the history of RIII there.

For York, there is a small RIII "museum" on the city wall (at Monk Bar), where there are some exhibitions about the arguments about RIII.

33aluvalibri
Jul 15, 2007, 12:44 pm

#32> chyleung, do you mean to say you were born on October 2, like me???? WOW! That is cool!!!!!!

34LillyJames
Jul 15, 2007, 4:44 pm

chyleung, when I visited Bosworth, I never felt the trip was difficult. Both times I took the train from London to Leicester and then a bus from Leicester to Market Bosworth. From the town, I took the Gated Lane to the Battlefield. I'm not certain how long the walk is, only that it feels very long. :) (I'm a person who's comfortable walking a few miles at a time and this felt much longer. It could have been the heat, though!) I called the Battlefield visitor centre to get precise directions to the Gated Road and from there to the Battlefield. They were perfect directions and they even sent a car to meet up with me the first time. :) I don't know if they still do that but it wouldn't surprise me. (My directions are boxed up and far away in Connecticut or I'd type them up for you.)

If I recall correctly, the buses don't run very long so you'll need to get to Bosworth early and leave the Battlefield fairly early to catch the last bus out (or you could stay in town). Be sure to pick up a schedule! :) I had more than enough time to enjoy the Battlefield so I don't think you'll feel rushed.

Battlefield Contact Info
Telephone: 01455 290429
E-mail: bosworth@leics.gov.uk
http://www.leics.gov.uk/country_parks_bosworth

I'd much rather share Richard's birthday than his death day! I'm envious of you and aluvalibri!

35myshelves
Jul 15, 2007, 4:50 pm

One time we stayed at the farm across from the battlefield. Don't know if it is still a B&B. There may be others in the vicinity.

36desultory
Jul 15, 2007, 5:14 pm

chyleung - "Initially when I found that he shared the same birthday with me (although I knew that the old calendar used at that time was different with ours), I can't forget it and can't stop thinking of him when I have my birthday."

Well exactly! I know we can't avoid these historical resonances, when the dates are the same, but does anybody know of a website that attempts to address this problem of old calendar / new calendar comparisons?

37myshelves
Jul 15, 2007, 7:36 pm

Just google "calendar converter"

38chyleung
Jul 23, 2007, 6:31 am

aluvalibri, mine is on 2nd of October, it's really interesting as we share same birthday.

LillyJames, thanks for your detailed information. I also find that the limiting factor for us visiting some places is always transport. I plan to have my visit next year when my annual leave is fixed, hopefully in summer where the daytime is longer.

desultory, actually I know RIII was not the only famous person in history sharing the same birthday with me, but I just notice of his.

myshelves, thanks for your suggestion! I can now convert those historical dates.

39aluvalibri
Jul 23, 2007, 11:06 am

#38> chyleung, other famous people born on 2 October: Mahatma Gandhi, Groucho Marx, Graham Greene, Baron von Hindenburg, Sting, and probably others I cannot recall right now. Not bad, huh?

40belemnite
Oct 23, 2007, 6:38 pm

Hi all. As with a lot of people here, it seems, I was introduced to Richard III via The Daughter of Time, which my father gave me to read when I was about 15. I've been pro-Richard (and anti-Tudor!) ever since. I've also recently moved to England, and hope to go and visit various significant places sometime soon.

41lquilter
Edited: Oct 23, 2007, 11:35 pm

#28 myshelves and any others:

Is the mock trial available online, or on video, or any other format? Any cites or info about it? How did I never know about this? (or worse - hear of it and then forget about it, as seems to happen more and more often these days years...)

42myshelves
Oct 23, 2007, 11:42 pm

#41,

Sorry, I don't know. I have an idea that I saw it (way back when) on C-SPAN.

43littlebookworm
Oct 23, 2007, 11:54 pm

#26 - (this was ages ago, but) Actually, Richard must have been very politically astute, given his success at lordship in the north as Duke of Gloucester. His fair government was what gave him the power base to actually become king, and the reason York still fondly remembers him to this day. York never challenged his authority like they did with Henry VII. He does seem to have been too trusting, however, a trait shared by his brother Edward IV. I'm currently studying Richard's time as Duke of Gloucester and his hegemony for my senior thesis; more primary evidence than the murder of the princes, less written about it. I've actually read historians who suggest that he was not a very good soldier at all, even though I disagree with this myself.

The puzzle is, why couldn't he extend that good government and patronage to the realm? Buckingham is probably part of the answer.

44myshelves
Edited: Oct 24, 2007, 12:08 am

#43,

He didn't get much breathing room for it, did he? Having Woodvilles, Maggie Beaufort, her son, her Stanley husband, Buckingham, Morton, the French, et. al. (and their "affinity") working to bring him down would have kept him off stride.

45Foxhunter
Oct 24, 2007, 4:48 am

This message has been deleted by its author.

46LucasTrask
Jan 24, 2008, 2:28 pm

I have been interest in Richard III since I saw Richard III starring Ian McKellen in 1996. I was originally drawn to the film due to the updating of the story to the to 1930s England and it did not disappoint me. However, what I did not expect was Ian McKellen’s performance, which amazed me (and was the first film of his I had seen). Even through Shakespeare’s distorting lens the film made me want to read more about Richard. So I went to the local library where I picked up from the self and checked out Richard III by Paul Murray Kendall. I found it to be well written, compelling, and sympathetic to Richard, yet balanced account of his life. I enjoyed reading it very much and was pleased when the Folio Society reprinted it several years ago.

I like to think that I am always open to different points of view, even when different from mine own. Since accepting Kendall’s view of Richard I have maintained an interest in his life. Several people have mentioned The Richard III Society in this group and I am interested in what any current or former members think of it. I also just came across The Richard III Foundation and am interested what any one has heard of it and what any current/former members think of it.

47boswellbaxter
Feb 14, 2008, 11:22 pm

Hi, LucasTrask! The Richard III Society is a great organization, especially if you're doing research in the period. It's open to all those interested in Richard III and his times and doesn't have a litmus test for membership (otherwise I probably wouldn't have got in!). Getting the Ricardian, the Society's academic publication, is well worth the membership cost for me (and the cost is quite low).

48ariom
Feb 16, 2008, 9:52 pm

Hello all! Yes, like many others I started with The Daughter of Time, then went on to several bios, some for and some against Richard. Also read some of the fiction - We Speak No Treason etc. My personal theory is the Margaret Beaufort was responsible for the deaths of the princes. Richard did get a really bad press, from the Tudors and also Thomas More, who wrote only hearsay!

49Storeetllr
Feb 16, 2008, 10:10 pm

Hi! Has anyone read Alison Weir's latest The Princes in the Tower that purports to prove that Richard was the culprit? It was irredeemably biased and relied heavily on hearsay and innuendo. I finished it, but only because I couldn't believe what I was reading and had to continue if only to see how bad it could get.

Sorry for the rant, but I just finished it a week ago and am still fuming. I despise weak research and historians who purport to prove something is true but don't provide solid evidence for their theories.

Anyway, I also became interested in Richard III by reading Daughter of Time, but it wasn't until I read The Sunne in Splendour that I decided to read some histories of the time period and some bios of the people involved. I expected differences of opinion ~ after all, there is no "smoking gun" in this case ~ but we do have circumstantial evidence that includes what was happening at the time and the mores and characters of the other players.

I'm planning to join the Society as soon as I can get around to it (hopefully after the dollar gets a little stronger ~ lol).

50LucasTrask
Mar 27, 2008, 7:52 pm

I joined the US branch of the Richard III Society, but I have only received my welcome package to date. I am looking forward to both the publications and the online access to past issues of the Ricardian Register, the US publication.

51Harinezumi
May 5, 2008, 11:33 am

How lovely to find fellow Ricardians on LibraryThing! Like many, my introduction to the debate came via Josephine Tey and The Daughter of Time. My other touchstones include Kendall and Jarman's We Speak No Treason. I have been a firm believer in the probity of Richard's much-maligned character since my college days, and I was a card carrying member of the RIII Society for several years. Lately life has intervened and Dickon had fallen below my radar, but perhaps this will inspire me to join up again. BTW, if you haven't investigated the Society's website, please do. Among other delights, there is a portrait of that shifty-eyed Henry VII that can be dragged around to make him look either sinister (even more so, that is) or ridiculous, depending on your mood.

52brainorgan
Jun 13, 2008, 2:10 pm

I'll say how I got here because it's a little bit different - even though I read Daughter of Time about 30 years ago, it went completely over my head! But recently I got interested in Phantom of the Opera, and then Snape (from Harry Potter, in case anyone doesn't know!), and now Richard III (because they are all antiheroes!). I am laboriously working my way through Shakespeare's Richard III, and then I will re-read Daughter of Time, this time I will understand it!

53RachelfromSarasota
Jun 16, 2008, 11:23 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you Storeetllr for post #49! I too read Alison Weir's The Princes in the Tower and found it as biased as you did.

I have been a devotee of Richard III since I first read Josephine Tey's Daughter of Time, and despite the many negative reviews it has gotten in the past decade, I still find it to be logically persuasive.

The very fact that Richard left so many other potential claimants to the throne alive, and did NOT publicize the putative deaths of the little princes made me a convert -- and I would not put it past Margaret Beaufort to have taken matters into her own hands to aid her son to the throne.

The only "C" I EVER got on a college paper (otherwise I never got less than an "A-") was the one I wrote attacking Shakespeare's portrayal of Richard III. My professor was not interested in the politics of defamation, but was instead so appalled that I, a lowly mortal, dared criticize the Bard, that she said she was forced to punish my presumption.

No one's mentioned it, but for a really fun take on Richard III read Elizabeth Peters' The Murders of Richard III. It's a hoot, and fun for all us Ricardians.

54brainorgan
Jun 17, 2008, 6:29 pm

I am about to read Alison Weir's The Wars of the Roses but I'm ready for it to be biased. Glad to hear you liked The Murders of Richard III - I am going to get the ebook version.

55lilithcat
Mar 27, 2012, 2:56 pm

Just updating the link to the Bosworth Battlefield website.

56starkimarki
Edited: Mar 28, 2012, 2:26 am

Alison Weir is made to look almost balanced compared to this piece of vitriol : Richard III: England's Black Legend. I recently enjoyed Under the Hog, whilst it is fiction I thought it had an interesting take on both the period and several characters, in particular Anthony Woodville.

57Mweb
Mar 28, 2012, 8:38 am

I love history but became interested in Richard through The Sunne in Splendour and finding he shared my dad's birthday. From there I enjoyed Paul Murray Kendall and found Daughter of Time.

58EllenLEkstrom
Apr 26, 2012, 10:54 am

Hello: Ellen Ekstrom from Berkeley, CA, here. Shakespeare is how I met Richard III - I couldn't believe someone could be THAT horrible, so I read Paul Murray Kendall and the Daughter of Time, went on to Charles Ross, and many more. I was a member of the Richard III Society for a while, Vice Chairman in the early nineties.

59mallinje
Jun 17, 2012, 7:31 pm

I first became interested when I read Alison Weir's The Princes in the Tower but, like a lot of other people, I found it very biased. Now I've read several accounts and I think that A. J. Pollard's Richard III and the Princes in the Tower is the most balanced account that I've read. Most make him out to be either a monster or a saint. To me, Pollard made him seem more human that any other that I have read.

60EllenLEkstrom
Jun 17, 2012, 8:18 pm

#59: I agree with you on the Pollard work. Mr. Kendall's work was empurpled prose.

61ValLloyd
Jul 29, 2013, 9:33 pm

#1 exactly like you did - Tey

62Foxhunter
Edited: Aug 26, 2013, 12:22 pm

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63afinch11
Aug 20, 2013, 6:14 pm

I'm a brand new member (ex-Goodreads) and, like most here, started with "The Daughter of Time" years ago (I've always loved mysteries), then more recently into "The Sunne in Splendour."
I've stayed away from historical novels until recently, always assuming they were "bodice-rippers"
but Woweee! I've been blown away by Sharon Key Penman! I've dipped into other authors writing about England, but, still, nothing comes close to Penman, in my eyes.

After "The Daughter of Time" I've always been a big Richard supporter, but didn't know there were societies until a few years ago. I happened to be leafing through a magazine in my doctor's waiting room, read that there was a plan afoot to bring up a body which might be him, and since then, I've been fascinated.

64Storeetllr
Aug 20, 2013, 10:20 pm

They did bring his body (or most of it) up! Here are a couple of articles on the exhumation: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/05/world/europe/richard-the-third-bones.html?_r=0 and http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/03/world/europe/richard-iii-search-announcement

It's an exciting discovery and also gratifying that the evidence appears to dispel at least some of the scurrilous things the Tudors said about him.