Friday, June 22, 2018

Richard III - David Baldwin

Richard III was a 15th century royal one-hit wonder, in want of staying power.

Here is the Richard III crash course for you :

- One of the shortest reigns in English history, a modest two years.

- He became king after his brother and after outmaneuvering his young nephew
Probably doomed his own kingship by doing so as he antagonized a great number of people.

- He suffered from severe scoliosis so the 'hunchback' epithet was truthful.

- The jury is still out on whether he actually killed those two little 'princes in the tower' to stay on the throne or whether he merely shut them up in the said Tower.

- After losing wife and son to disease, he considered marrying his young niece Elizabeth of York, who luckily for her wed Henry Tudor instead, thus later giving birth to Henry VIII.

- The battle of Bosworth, 1485, where Henry Tudor triumphed, saw Richard become the first English king since 1066 to die in battle. 
Evidence is he fought bravely and was mistreated after his death.

- His body was found in 2012, he was reinterred in 2015 in Leicester Cathedral.

Without Richard III, there would have been no Henry VIII, no Anglican church and no Queen Elizabeth I.  
A short reign but crucial.

Baldwin strives to present Richard III in a less negative light than usual but honestly, it's a tough sell. 
Also, the book in itself was rather dull, as there is precious little information to go by, and Baldwin does not go for fictionalizing. 
I suggest you watch Shakespeare's play instead. Either Cumberbatch or Ian McKellen will do.

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