Review of A Cautionary Tale by Joanie Swift
As Joanie Swift herself states, “If only the Battle of Bosworth had not ended in a Tudor victory . . .” Yes, but it did, and we can’t change that, although Joanie takes a huge swipe in the right direction with this hilarious little roman à clef.
Instead of Bosworth in 1485, we’re in London in 1952, on 2nd October, the anniversary of Richard III’s birth, and events are in progress to right the horrible wrong of his defeat and death by treachery. It is also a defence of that tragic king’s reputation and a no-nonsense restoration of his honour. A rib-tickling, modern(ish) tale of revenge and just desserts. Pot shots aplenty at the 1952 equivalents of all those actual historical figures who did the dirty on Richard. And they get short shrift at Joanie’s hands. As does any historian who is less than honest about acquiring ‘new research’.
She describes herself as “British, grandmother, ready for the fray . . . willing to pull rugs from beneath feet of clay”. Battle Granny, ready to defend Dickie Broom’s honour. Well, if you guess who Dickie Broom is really, then you will ‘get’ the rest of this satirical tale.
Revenge is a dish best served cold, and this is 500 years cold! But sweet for all that.