Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Yorkist Kings & The Wars of the Roses: RICHARD III

This one has been a long time coming--you could say the only person I was ever really fanatical about, as I never have the time to have one subject on the brain 24/7. It's unhealthy, and unsavoury. I have always been
100% pro-Ricardian, and finding his remains and stating that they were Richard's--on my mother's birthday,
last year, was one of the happiest days of my life.

There has been renewed interest in Richard III since the discovery of his remains beneath a Leicester car park in the autumn of 2012. Part of the mystery was solved on 4 February 2013, when it was revealed that he was not the diminutive, hunchbacked monster of Tudor myth, but a tall (for his time), good-looking man who suffered from scoliosis of the spine, a condition which would not have been noticed as he went about everyday life. If the Tudor propagandists perpetrated this myth—their theory being that to sanitize Henry VII, it was necessary to blacken the name of his predecessor—what else was made up? Richard remains the most controversial monarch to have occupied the British throne. During his brief reign he was loved and respected by his subjects. His fighting skills were second to none: his loyalty towards his brother, Edward IV, cannot be disputed. From an early age he was compelled to find his own way in life in a violence-orientated world: the brooding archetypal loner who, even when he acquired power, still preferred the quiet Yorkshire countryside to the artificialities of the royal court, where no man was trusting of his fellow. Edward IV’s sudden death plunged England into chaos.  Richard, named by him as Protector of his young sons, Edward V and Richard of York, was faced with the dilemma that England would again succumb to the anarchy brought about by the last royal minority—that of Henry VI. He was also faced with the rapaciousness of the boys’ family, the much-hated Woodvilles. The boys were placed within the Tower, but were never seen again, setting in motion a mystery which has never been solved. Did Richard kill his nephews, or were they dispatched by the Duke of Buckingham, or by Henry Tudor and his scheming mother, Margaret Beaufort? What was the true nature of the relationship between Richard and Buckingham? Was Buckingham hoping to use “bromance” as a means of ensnaring Richard to be used as a scapegoat for the heinous crime he was about to perpetrate? Or was Richard simply too trusting, caught out when he was at his weakest—mourning a brother he had adored? The fact that he still has many thousands of devoted supporters, more than 500 years after his death, only points to the fact that Richard III was more than just a king. He was a legend.

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