November 1st, 2010

regal (anne boleyn)

King Richard III (of England)

During the Halloween movie fest, Marilyn and I saw part of the Vincent Price movie, "Tower of London," the supposed story of King Richard III of England.

Shakespeare's play has shaped the way most people view Richard III, but as Marilyn and I always point out -- the victors write history, true or not.

I first encountered the stories about Richard III in grade school and high school, and was surprised to discover he wasn't the man most people believed him to be!

It's very unlikely he was at all physically deformed, for example. That comes from the fact that during the time when he lived, people believed that those who were deformed in spirit (evil), would be deformed in body, too. Henry Tudor (the father of Henry VIII) defeated Richard at the battle of Bosworth Field -- then made himself king. To make people more willing to accept him in the role, he needed to make Richard as unpopular as possible. He had portraits (paintings) of Richard III altered to look as if he were a hunchback. And he spread a lot of unsavory rumors.

By the way, there's good reason to question whether or not Richard killed his young nephews, regardless of what you've heard to the contrary.

Those who want to learn more can check RichardIII.Net (the official website of the Richard III Society) for more information.

Remember, Shakespeare based his play on what was commonly accepted to be true. And whatever Thomas More may have said about Richard III, he was very much Henry Tudor's man -- so it's natural he would see things the way he did.

Naturally, as Marilyn say, few films portray history in an accurate fashion. I get that. But I love being stirred to LEARN MORE because of a movie I've viewed. I haven't gone off on the Richard III thing in many, many years -- so it was actually fun looking it up online. (smile)

There are so many people in history who have been viewed in a bad light because they LOST to their enemies. Yeah, I could start a list, but why bother? I'll probably go off on some other people at some future date. (grin) Several others jump to mind, believe me...