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Richard III-Those Princes & Lord Hastings

A place to debate issues or to rant about what's on your mind. In addition to discussions about historical fiction, books, the publishing industry, and history, discussions about current political, social, and religious issues and other topics are allowed, so those who are easily offended by certain topics may want to avoid such threads. Members are expected to keep the discussions friendly and polite and to avoid personal attacks on other members. The moderators reserve the right to shut down a thread without warning if they believe it necessary.
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sat March 16th, 2013, 4:05 am

I like Richard because of the record of his actions when he wasn't king. At my age, I have noticed that although people can change, they tend to grow in the direction that they are bending. There is plenty of undisputed evidence of Richard's good behavior, and very little of the opposite.

Henry VII, on the other hand, became more and more manipulative and miserly as life went on. I'm not sure I know that much* about his early life, but his behavior as a ruler was paranoid and dishonorable in the extreme. So I tend not to like Henry VII. And I'm not that impressed with his son, either. I was a little on the fence until I read the letters he sent to his naval commanders throughout his reign. The man was an arrogant windbag who was also a control freak.
But that's another monarch. :D
*novels don't count.

rebecca
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Post by rebecca » Sun March 17th, 2013, 2:30 am

[quote=""MLE""]I like Richard because of the record of his actions when he wasn't king. At my age, I have noticed that although people can change, they tend to grow in the direction that they are bending. There is plenty of undisputed evidence of Richard's good behavior, and very little of the opposite.

Henry VII, on the other hand, became more and more manipulative and miserly as life went on. I'm not sure I know that much* about his early life, but his behavior as a ruler was paranoid and dishonorable in the extreme. So I tend not to like Henry VII. And I'm not that impressed with his son, either. I was a little on the fence until I read the letters he sent to his naval commanders throughout his reign. The man was an arrogant windbag who was also a control freak.
But that's another monarch. :D
*novels don't count.[/quote]

That was my point, you explained it more eloquently than moi :) ...I can't imagine a person suddenly doing a 45 degree angle and becoming almost an entirely new(and worse)creature-almost a monster! And as for many 'nobles' turning on him, they had much to gain by Richards death....I agree with you about Henry VII and his son(a psychopath!). I can't abide either one.

When it comes to novels it depends on the writers....I trust Sharon Kay Penman to have done her research as well as Elizabeth Chadwick, Helen Hollick, but their books are fiction and that is how I read them(they aren't historical biographies). But when it comes to writers such as Philippa Gregory, I read her books for pure entertainment and don't take her historical version of the 'truth' as real.

But as you said without his wife and his son by his side and with no-one to trust...what life is that?

Bec :)

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burlgirl
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Post by burlgirl » Wed September 4th, 2013, 8:00 pm

I am very lucky to be the recipient of an advanced reader's copy of "Elizabeth of York" by Allison Weir. She spends a considerable amount of time on this very question and comes down exceedingly firmly on R3 did it. I admit, I'm a little wishy washy on if I think he did it or not. I'd prefer it, since it happened, to have been done by H7, but my preferences don't add up to a hill of beans. I can't seem to keep the different personalities from the time of Richard straight, so I can’t really summarize why Allison thinks what she did, and I don’t have my kindle open and available to look it up in.
Allison does seem to think that Richard had the “bent” to do this, and she does go over why. I hated what she had to say, but she makes a good case. It will take someone more knowledgeable than I to figure out if she’s at all right. She is using primary sources and 25% of the book is end notes.

I do like that she seems to ask some of the same questions I’d like to know. Such as, “what WAS that with Elizabeth of York and Richard?” Was she the one interested? Or was it him? Or just rumor?; How did Elizabeth feel when Perkin Warbeck showed up? She was certainly caught between a rock and a hard place…

In any case, I’m enjoying this book, and it certainly is giving me a no-Ricardian view of the times.

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burlgirl
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Post by burlgirl » Wed September 4th, 2013, 8:21 pm

I am very lucky to be the recipient of an advanced reader's copy of "Elizabeth of York" by Allison Weir. She spends a considerable amount of time on this very question and comes down exceedingly firmly on R3 did it. I admit, I'm a little wishy washy on if I think he did it or not. I'd prefer it, since it happened, to have been done by H7, but my preferences don't add up to a hill of beans. I can't seem to keep the different personalities from the time of Richard straight, so I can’t really summarize why Allison thinks what she did, and I don’t have my kindle open and available to look it up in.
Allison does seem to think that Richard had the “bent” to do this, and she does go over why. I hated what she had to say, but she makes a good case. It will take someone more knowledgeable than I to figure out if she’s at all right. She is using primary sources and 25% of the book is end notes.

I do like that she seems to ask some of the same questions I’d like to know. Such as, “what WAS that with Elizabeth of York and Richard?” Was she the one interested? Or was it him? Or just rumor?; How did Elizabeth feel when Perkin Warbeck showed up? She was certainly caught between a rock and a hard place…

In any case, I’m enjoying this book, and it certainly is giving me a no-Ricardian view of the times.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3558
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Wed September 4th, 2013, 8:38 pm

Ah yes,
Alison Weir -- the lady who claimed that Henry VII's paid smear-jobs on R3 by Thomas More and (can't remember the other guy) were 'unbiased accounts by contemporaries'.

Of course she's going to uphold her previous position.

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burlgirl
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Post by burlgirl » Fri September 6th, 2013, 2:36 pm

LOL. Many times, I wish I had God's point of view, so I could know what the real truth is about these things, not the spin doctor's view of it. Course, I feel that way every time I read the news, too...

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Fri September 6th, 2013, 4:10 pm

Alison Weir's biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine has put me off ever believing anything she says. It's a mish-mash of wrong facts, opinions stated as fact, injudicious use of sources and outdated research. I can't trust her.

as to the Princes question. I am completely on the fence. I think Richard might have done it but I thought MLE's comment 'I have noticed that although people can change, they tend to grow in the direction that they are bending.' was very pertinent. I do think that Henry VII tends to get vilified almost as if he and Richard are viewed as being on a see-saw. Richard down, Henry up. Henry down, Richard up. I'm sure the scales are a bit more balanced than that...and so I sit here in the middle. :-)
Last edited by EC2 on Fri September 6th, 2013, 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Post by boswellbaxter » Sat September 7th, 2013, 1:18 pm

[quote=""EC2""] I do think that Henry VII tends to get vilified almost as if he and Richard are viewed as being on a see-saw. Richard down, Henry up. Henry down, Richard up. I'm sure the scales are a bit more balanced than that...and so I sit here in the middle. :-) [/quote]

There's a tiny group of Ricardians who have been periodically launching troll attacks on a Henry VII page since its inception, and some groups where supposedly Richard-hating authors (including me) are regularly attacked. Some seriously weird stuff out there.
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


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DianeL
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Post by DianeL » Sun September 8th, 2013, 6:39 pm

[quote=""EC2""]Alison Weir's biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine has put me off ever believing anything she says. It's a mish-mash of wrong facts, opinions stated as fact, injudicious use of sources and outdated research. I can't trust her.

as to the Princes question. I am completely on the fence. I think Richard might have done it but I thought MLE's comment 'I have noticed that although people can change, they tend to grow in the direction that they are bending.' was very pertinent. I do think that Henry VII tends to get vilified almost as if he and Richard are viewed as being on a see-saw. Richard down, Henry up. Henry down, Richard up. I'm sure the scales are a bit more balanced than that...and so I sit here in the middle. :-) [/quote]

Every word of THIS! Much as I don't have the slightest interest in sports and therefore don't think that much in terms of rooting for any particular team (even politically, as divisive as our world is in partisan terms these days, if an individual person reveals to me their "affiliation" I don't by-default hold it against them!), I can't really wear Ricardian nor Tudor colors with any honesty. Henry's own reputation is as reverse-engineered as Richard's, and each of them were members of the human race. We're a sorry lot, who are also remarkably gifted, and can be beautiful even in moments of our greatest - and worst - weakness. Just because I don't buy Richard's guilt doesn't mean I therefore feel any need to hate Henry. I think both were fascinating creatures, even if wildly different ones.

Henry VII is painted as a miser, but he felt he was in service to his country, and VIII did inherit quite the treasury out of it. VII is also pretty widely accepted as having loved his queen, and there isn't any great outcry that her own entrance into that marriage was cruelly against her will. Theirs appears to have been a successful match and marriage - say what we may about its fruits.

One of the ways we tend to over-romanticize history is to distribute a lot of white hats and black hats, casting villains and heroes, and creating nice, episodic story arcs out of it. In its living, though, no king's story is any tidier nor neatly plotted than your life or mine.
"To be the queen, she agreed to be the widow!"

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The pre-modern world was willing to attribute charisma to women well before it was willing to attribute sustained rationality to them.
---Medieval Kingship, Henry A. Myers

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3558
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sun September 8th, 2013, 9:06 pm

[quote=""DianeL""]
One of the ways we tend to over-romanticize history is to distribute a lot of white hats and black hats, casting villains and heroes, and creating nice, episodic story arcs out of it. In its living, though, no king's story is any tidier nor neatly plotted than your life or mine.[/quote]
Well said, Diane. If you really want to know the details that circumscribed the lives of monarchs, you have to look at their income, expenditures, and 'credit report' --which is so much more boring than their love life and blood feuds.

But a novelist can hardly write good fiction on finances.

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