I really enjoyed this book. I liked the way that it was set out in sections so you could easily dip in and out of it, perfect for those who want to know more but don’t have the background. If you’ve watched ‘The White Queen’ and want to know more about Richard, I’d recommend this book as it clearly separates fact from fiction without assuming the reader is a complete ninny. Some books, in trying to set things out clearly, simplify the facts too much, but Lewis doesn’t make this error.
Each chapter is split into sections and each section asks a different question that is contentious over Richard III – did he kill the Princes in the Tower? Did he and the Woodvilles have a running feud? Was he betrayed at Bosworth? These and many others are explored in this book. It is written chronologically, starting with Richard’s birth and child, his time as Duke of Gloucester, his reign as King of England, and then his tragic end at the Battle of Bosworth. It also looks at how accurate or otherwise Shakespeare’s portrayal was, and what we’ve learned from the discovery of Richard III’s bones in Leicester.
Some of the things that Lewis brings up are really interesting and I hadn’t really thought about them before, but most of the conclusions he draws make sense. Lewis examines the evidence that exists, and puts forward his own opinions. I like that he doesn’t force his conclusions on you either, but gives you the evidence and allows you to make up your own mind. Continue reading “Book Review – ‘Richard III: Fact and Fiction’ by Matthew Lewis”
‘Talking Tudors’ is a podcast by Natalie Grueninger, author of ‘Discovering Tudor London’ and co-author of ‘In the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn’ and ‘In the Footsteps of the Six Wives of Henry VIII’ with Sarah Morris. Along with Kathryn Holeman Natalie has also released two Tudor colouring books – ‘Colouring Tudor History’ and ‘Colouring Tudor History: Queens and Consorts’.
Natalie interviews guests about their particular interests and the Tudors in general. Each episode ends with “10 To Go” and a “Tudor Takeaway”, and at the beginning often starts with a piece of Tudor-inspired music.
The first 21 episodes guests and topics are listed below (everything live up to this date 8th February 2019).
October 1399 8th Plantagenet king Richard II taken down the Thames – 1400 found starved to death.
Henry of Bolingbroke – Henry IV = right of kings undermined and whole dynasties collapsed – turned against each other and ended with the destruction of the dynasty.
1380s peasant’s revolt – Richard II forced to flee to the Tower.
Trigger = tax for war against the French.
Revolt against king’s councillors.
Simon Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury, seized and executed. The day after Richard met with the rebels, led by Watt Tyler. Tyler killed in a scuffle by the mayor of London.
Richard single-handedly halted rebellion = god-given right to rule.
Royal displays of kingship. Continue reading “My Notes from the third part of ‘The Plantagenets’ shown 31.03.2014 on BBC”
Philippa Langley & Michael Jones, ‘The Search for Richard III: the King’s Grave’ (London: John Murray, 2013) Hardback, ISBN 978-1-84854-890-9
Title: The book was released in Britain as ‘The Search for Richard III: the King’s Grave’ and in America as ‘The King’s Grave: the Discovery of Richard III’s Lost Burial Place and the Clues It Holds’. The difference between the two (aside from America’s being more long-winded) is that, possibly, the Americans required more explanation, not being as familiar with the period and particularly English geography, as the English are.
Preface: I think the Preface to this book was particularly good compared to others that I’ve read. Possibly this is because the writers aren’t just writing from a historical point of view, but also in hindsight of the amazing discovery that was made, and their own personal bias about Richard III. It’s not really a historical work, but more a work to explain to the general public the importance of this find. The summary of the book is neat, in the final sentence of the Preface: “this is the story of one of history’s most infamous kings – now restored to us – and the man behind the Tudor myth”. It’s clear, concise, and immediately sets out their arguments. Continue reading “Book Review – Philippa Langley & Michael Jones, ‘The Search for Richard III: the King’s Grave’”