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Welcome to the 21st Century, Your Grace

R3-coat-of-armsFor better or worse, Richard III is now a worldwide pop-culture icon, joining the ranks of Kirk, Spock and McCoy, Harry Potter and Severus Snape, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Aragorn and Legolas. Many more reams of paper and backlit words on computer screens will be written about him. His fans – whether authors of fiction or non-fiction – will be supportive. His anti-fans will be as venomous as ever.

Methinks, however, that the days of the venom-carriers seeking fame or fortune via the archetype of Villainous Richard may be numbered. The Shakespeare-Tudor creation is archaic, a portrait of Tyme Past, while the real Richard III has managed to get himself rediscovered and inserted firmly and forever into the 21st century.

“Richard liveth yet?” You can bet your medieval gauntlet he does.*

I don’t think it’s common knowledge that professional historians – think university professors who must lecture and publish if they are to survive – encounter fashionable cycles in their discipline. So do professors of literature. I mention this because Richard III has the distinction (or perhaps the unfortunate situation) of being both a literary figure and an historical one. What happens to Richard in the next few years may well mirror what happened to another literary-historical figure in the form of a certain Irish author by the name of Oscar Wilde – a man, incidentally, who was considered worse than a monster by members of his own society during the last years of his life.

Wilde died in November 1900. At the time, Mrs. Grundy dictated that nothing good could be written or said about him unless it was privately whispered or printed, or published by someone who had known him personally and whose aristocratic connections made them impervious to direct attack. Oscar always had his private friends and fans, and they tried to look out for him, before and after he died. Unlike Richard’s fans, these men and women never dared to form a society or attempt to rehabilitate Oscar’s reputation; The Scandal of his downfall was too fresh, and Mrs. Grundy would have burned them all at the stake.

Public attitude began to shift in 1946 after Hesketh Pearson published his Life of Oscar Wilde. However well the book sold, studying or reading about Wilde was a private pastime, not something anyone wanted to be seen doing while traveling on the Tube. Still, there were a hundred other things besides The Scandal to interest someone in Oscar’s life, and his personal warmth and charisma embraced many, even from beyond the grave. So he gathered fans, and those fans did interviews with the men and women who had known him – to preserve their memories before they passed on – and books revealing details of Wilde’s private life were published for a public that was hungry to know more about the amazing man their forebears had despised.

So it was that by the 1980s, it was permitted – grudgingly, but still permitted – for a university student to write a paper or two about Wilde.

By the 1990s, university classes in British literature began studying Wilde’s poetry (usually by clumping him in with Yeats and Shaw, never mind the three were Irish). Professors were now permitted to say nice things about Oscar’s works, but his private life had to be left alone. Only his creations could be considered, as if they had sprung full-blown without any influence or inspiration from his life’s events. A couple of careful professors analyzed Wilde’s plays by comparing old drafts to what finally hit the stage, but what’s important to know at this stage is that the university dons were left in the dust by the graduate students and laymen of that time who basically said, “Sod this. I’m writing about Wilde’s works as they were influenced by his life.” And more books were published.

As 2000 approached, plans were made to celebrate the centenary of Wilde’s death, never mind Victorian society had destroyed his ability to create, hastened his death, and would have celebrated nothing to do with him. His grandson was located and began giving lectures about his illustrious grandfather. Plaques were placed in Oscar’s honor – one of them in Poet’s Corner, Westminster. And lo! Oscar suddenly became much more popular with the masses.

And so it was that Oscar Wilde was again embraced by the public – a thing not seen since the premier of “The Importance of Being Earnest” in London. The universities worldwide had no choice but to be carried along on the tide of resurgence.

Since then, a plethora of authors – including writers whose own lives were influenced by Wilde’s tribulations, graduate students seeing a quick way to get into print, blatant fame-seekers, and enthusiastic students of his life – have run to hop onto the bandwagon and write reams that most times had much more to say about the writer than they ever would about Wilde. Oscar belongs to the world now, in ways that likely would have amused, thrilled, and exasperated him in life. The circus surrounding him is still going strong in some quarters, and his fandom is international.

My point is that once Oscar Wilde was “discovered” by the general public, it quickly became “fashionable” to talk about him positively in professional circles, whereas a few decades before a professor would have been committing professional suicide to so much as breathe his name.

To bring us full circle, it has long been “fashionable” in professional historian and anti-Ricardian circles to accuse some Ricardians as being off with the fairies. Their treatises weren’t foundationed in solid research. They offered only willful flights of fantasy and wishful thinking when it came to the king they were so “mad” about. No self-respecting professional historian would dare shove his or her scholarly toe over the line, not if they wished to keep the respect of their colleagues.

Let the historical record show that Ricardians found Richard. Sniffy university dons did not.

The world has discovered Richard III now. Many have embraced him. Are curious about him. Hunger to know more of him. The Wheel of Fortune ever turns, and it’s already begun running over a few traditionalists who have been thrilled in the past to paint the king as the Eternal Villain. To keep up with public curiosity and opinion, it will now likely become fashionable for professional historians to research Richard and discover lo! he wasn’t vile (or at least as vile) as his detractors painted.

Brace yourself for new archetypal representations of Richard III that may be a bit extreme, like St. Richard of Middleham. These archetypes will step forward to take their place alongside The Evil King, The Murdering Uncle, The Loyal Little Brother, The Ideal Medieval Husband, and Good King Richard. But never fear, for if it’s one thing Richard has always been good at, it’s accommodating myriad archetypes on his not-hunched shoulders. Jung would have had a field day analyzing all of them, as well as those of us attached to one or another of them…but that’s a subject for another, much longer, article.

Whatever comes, if Afterlife Richard is aware of all the hoopla surrounding him now, here’s hoping he’s in agreement with Oscar Wilde, who’s on record as having said, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”

__________

* The phrase “Richard liveth yet” originated in a poem written about the Duke of York’s family while he was still alive, and Richard was still an infant. It is included on page 5 of James Gairdner’s History of the Life and Reign of Richard the Third, to which is added the story of Perkin Warbeck, Cambridge: University Press, 1898. The book is available for free download in any number for formats here:

History of the Life & Reign of Richard III (Gairdner 1898)

 

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31 thoughts on “Welcome to the 21st Century, Your Grace

  1. Jasmine on said:

    Don’t you think the ‘sudden’ rise in the popularity of Oscar Wild coincided with changes in society towards gay relationships. In fact, with history, it is now popular to restudy figures from the past to discover their ‘gay’ side.

    Unfortunately for Richard, the big stumbling block is the absolute disappearance of the boys. No matter how well presented Richard’s earlier achievements are or how important were the laws passed in his Parliament, everything eventually comes back to the Princes in the Tower.

    Until that question can be satisfactorily resolved, I think any reassessment of Richard will fail to achieve the breakthrough needed.

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    • Whether it’s Wilde or Richard III, a catalyst came which catapulted both men into the public mind and let them connect with many more people on a pop-culture level, and arouse curiosity far beyond their previously existing “core” fans.

      What follows is a discussion of Wilde much more than Richard, in an attempt to answer Jasmine’s question above. Feel free to skip it as it dovetails with Richard but isn’t specific to him.

      The first thing you have to do when studying Wilde and the phenomenon surrounding him is to separate the biographies on him and the literary studies on his work. You can then see where the greatest change happened in academia to overlap the two — something that was absolutely Planet Forbidden until the late 90s. Until then, you could write a biographical novel on him, a biography, or a literary analysis. If you wanted to be taken seriously in academia, you dared not overlap the genres.

      Wilde has always been considered an icon in the gay community, but there were many layers to the man and his life (including marriage and fatherhood), so one cannot draw a circle around him and label him solely as a gay author or icon and shut out everything else — though some have tried. If you read the extensive biographical materials written on him between his death and the late 80s, every author except Lord Alfred Douglas is careful to identify as heterosexual. Books on him have always sold, but academia shut its classroom doors to studying him or his works, except to analyze the odd poem in linguistics. He had no strong literary value (only dramatic value) until he caught worldwide attention that embraced and exceeded his gay fans, and academia was forced to go along.

      Homosexual acts between men was legalized in the mid-sixties in England, but academic attitudes toward Wilde did not shift a bit then. General society’s attitudes worldwide are still in flux. In this regard, the world is behind academia.

      Academic attitudes in terms of course curriculum changed only after graduate students began insisting upon examining Wilde’s *life* alongside his work. This happened — and was reluctantly accepted by advisors and lecturers — concurrent to the media coverage of the run-up to, and the events of, the centenary of Wilde’s death in 2000. It’s then that he caught the general public’s imagination and the imagination of students who hadn’t bothered about him before.

      Prior to this, a student of literature was expected to study an author’s work apart from his life, as if the work came into existence in a vacuum. After 2000, it became “fashionable” for British literature students and critics to examine Wilde’s works as they intertwined with his life and sexuality.

      (As an aside, I know it’s always been fashionable to examine Dickens’ works alongside the painful truths of Victorian Society, but as far as examining how the events of Dickens’ personal life influenced his writings…I do not know if students of literature are now allowed to do this with all authors, or whether the sea-change is applicable only to Wilde. I witnessed it personally with Wilde in Britain and the U.S., but I’m not a student of other Victorian authors and so cannot say.)

      Did the new literary fashion bleed over into historical academia at that point? Likely not, as history consists of the events of people’s lives, so there’s never been a problem writing about things like the dinner parties Winston Churchill attended, Hitler’s ability as an artist, or the mistresses of French kings and how much political power they wielded in and out of bed.

      I agree with you that the fate of the princes is a stumbling block in regard to Richard. But I think the same thing will happen with him as happened with Wilde: Richard will capture new students’ imaginations. Over the next few years — first as undergraduates, then as graduates, and then as lecturers themselves — the new students will insist upon conducting new research on their own. They’ll come to new conclusions and attitudes will of a necessity shift. This will inevitably include the fate of the princes.

      Current academia sees only what they’ve seen before. It long ago made up its collective mind on Richard — much as they did about Wilde — and refuses to acknowledge new information may lay in out-of-the-way archives. And so those archives remain ignored and unexplored.

      I think over the next ten years you’ll see a change in how Richard III is perceived because new information will emerge that hasn’t been found before. It will come through the “fans” Richard is picking up now.

      Wilde had to become a pop-culture figure and not just an underground gay icon before anything shifted toward him in academia. Richard has to become a pop-culture figure and not just the subject of study for the Richard III Society before entrenched academic attitudes about him can be examined and overcome.

      Wilde and his life was “reassessed” after he gained worldwide fame in 2000. Since Richard has been rediscovered and has succeeded in penetrating the mind of the general public on a pop-culture level, every one of his sticky wickets will likely be “reassessed” over the next decade by new students of history.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jasmine on said:

        A detailed response, Merlyn, thank you. I would like to think you are correct and that Richard will somehow grab the world’s consciousness and new generations of academics will reassess his life and reign and the public will eventually know the real man and what he did. Unfortunately I do not think that Richard has the same pulling power as the works of Wilde or other Victorian writers.

        I am not saying that no progress will be made, but perhaps not the breakthrough you anticipate.

        Perhaps a closer analogy is the discovery of Tutankhamen in the 1920s. There was world wide interest in the discovery and if you look at the art of the period and later, you will see a great influence of all things Ancient Egyptian. His tomb gets thousands of visitors each year. Recently there was a study of his DNA and that of other royal mummies in an attempt to find more about exactly who he was and who his parents were.

        I am sure that there are academic courses on 18th Dynasty Egypt and certainly there are large numbers of glossy books on the subject. People all over the world know exactly who he is – he is famous.

        However, how many of those people who know his name, actually know anything about him, his reign, the political situation in Egypt at the time, his achievements etc etc?

        As I said at the start, I would like to think you are correct, and perhaps you are. But it is not a certainty. Perhaps Richard will be a nine days’ wonder and after the celebrations of his reburial are over, and people go back to their daily lives, there may be a few dozen people inspired by it all to find out more, but the majority will go on to the next thing.

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  2. And I think as long as we know nothing about the fate of the princes, it will always be impossible to condemn Richard the Third to the lowest rung of hell.

    Liked by 3 people

    • blancsanglier on said:

      Why on earth should Richard be a nine days wonder after the reburial? He has been much more than that for 500 years up to his discovery, so he will continue to be after it. Even more so I would think.

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      • Jasmine on said:

        In terms of the population at large (and leaving aside those already Ricardians or people interested in TWOTR or Medieval history) Richard will be a nine days wonder, or do you think all the people coming to Leicester, attending the events, queuing in the streets to see processions will go away converted into history buffs, keen to find out more? I am sure some of them will be, but for the majority, the celebrations around Richard’s reburial are a spectacle to observe and talk about for a few days before the next thing comes along.

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  3. Exactly Maire, unless and until further evidence comes to light he must, by our present laws, be considered innocent and given the benefit of the doubt. It is disgraceful that he has been hounded by this rumour when there is no evidence which condemns him.

    Re: “Richard III has managed to get himself rediscovered and inserted firmly and forever into the 21st century.

    “Richard liveth yet?” You can bet your medieval gauntlet he does.”

    I am in the process of proof-reading my Ricardian novel, where he actually comes to the 21st century. There are historical references in it which, I hope, are accurate or, if not known, possible. It’s called “Richard Liveth Yet”!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jasmine on said:

      It’s not a question of innocent until proved guilty (unfortunately) but that the rumours of Richard’s involvement with or approval of the murder of the boys is the main issue for people when trying to discuss with them the positive achievements of his life and reign. Because there is absolutely no evidence of what happened to them at all, there is very little that can be used to support the idea that Richard had nothing to do with it.

      It comes down to the fact that for the ‘non-believers’ Richard is the main person for which there is a motive and an opportunity.

      Personally, I do not believe he was involved – I am a Ricardian. But during many conversations over the years, I find it always comes back to the fact that they disappeared from history during Richard’s reign which makes it very hard to convert people.

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      • My attitude is that there is absolutely no point in discussing the fate of the princes until or unless new evidence comes to light. I don’t see any problem in spreading the word about the positive things Richard did, for which there IS evidence, while putting the princes to one side.

        I don’t accept your point that “Because there is absolutely no evidence of what happened to them at all, there is very little that can be used to support the idea that Richard had nothing to do with it.” The argument works just the same the other way – no evidence, no crime – that’s the law of our country which has been proved more than once in various ‘trials’ of Richard – end of!

        I am an osteopath and have discussed Richard with many of my patients and friends and none have argued the point about the Princes – they have nearly all been ‘converted’.

        But if you bring the subject up yourself, as you have in this blog post, maybe that’s why you have found more opposition? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jasmine on said:

        This is a reply to jrlarner, but the reply button is above the post, not below it: sorry.

        Ricardians may be able to put the boys to one side, to concentrate on the postitive aspects of Richard’s reign, but others, especially those who are influenced by the more traditional approach are not. In truth, the one ‘fact’ that people ‘know’ about Richard is that he murdered the boys or at least was responsible for their disappearance.

        I am fully aware of the law of the land about being innocent until proved guilty. It is, however, not simply a question of ‘end of’ as you put it. You have only to look at recent cases where celebs have been caught up in trials for historical sex abuse, to see that even the mere mention of their names seems to have connotations of guilt, even when subsequently they have been found not guilty by a jury, despite the innocent until found guilty law. Dirt will stick to them for the rest of their lives.

        I am glad to hear that your patients and friends have been converted by you and that none brought up the case of the boys. I have been a member of the RIII Society for fifty years and during that time I have spoken to very many people about the subject. A large number of them have raised the question of the boys, so perhaps we know different sorts of people. And no, it was not due to my bringing up the question myself.

        Today, with social media, it is easier to find a lot of people who have questions about this period, many of them are influenced by traditional accounts. Have a look at the posts on their sites and see what is the most common question put to defenders of Richard and I think you will find it is to do with the Princes in the Tower. Not surprising really when Richard is very closely associated with them in people’s minds. In fact, it is the elephant in the room.

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      • The reply button I hit may be wrong also, but to Jasmine: You say Ricardians may be able to put the princes question aside, but you obviously cannot!

        I don’t deny that many people who don’t know any better are only aware of the princes question. It is precisely because of this that Ricardians should promote Richard’s (proven) good practices, to counterbalance the (unproven) accusations. As a self-confessed Ricardian, do you not do this? Surely, we should be positive and hope that eventually we can erode the negative.

        Your comment about ‘dirt will stick’ may be true (even though I can think of at least one example, Jim Davidson, who seems to have been able to come through such allegations relatively unscathed, by publicising his version) but it doesn’t make it fair, which is another reason to strenuously promote the positive to try to ensure ‘lay’ people see both sides – then they can make up their own minds.

        I am fully aware of the traditionalist views, unfortunately, but it doesn’t make me defeatist – I will continue to defend Richard to anyone who will listen.

        Well, it seems that as we are both Ricardians, we differ only in whether we are positive or negative about the possibility of restoring Richard’s reputation, so maybe we can just agree to differ on this 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      • This reply is for Jasmine.

        If Richard arranged to have the princes killed, it makes no sense for him to not have displayed their bodies to show would-be supporters they were gone. Any attempt to “rescue” them or “restore” Edward to the throne would then have been abandoned. The entire purpose at that time of displaying your enemy’s body was to prevent such uprisings. For Richard to dispose of them and then conceal their deaths makes no sense from any point of view. Life was fragile; all he’d have to claim was that they were carried off by a fever or some such illness.

        Their disappearance is called, “The Mystery of the Princes in the Tower” for a reason: it’s a perpetual mystery that cannot be solved for lack of evidence. All that’s known is that they disappeared. If Richard can be accused, so can others.

        Richard did not profit from their disappearance. On the contrary, he made himself a target. What better way to protect them, than to let people assume they were dead?

        Liked by 2 people

      • blancsanglier on said:

        ‘’there is very little that can be used to support the idea that Richard had nothing to do with it.’’ ……. I disagree. The very fact that he did not show the bodies, the fact that he did not have a Mass said for them indicates to me that he did not have anything to do with it. Also Tudor himself never accused Richard of their murder – and with his spy network I am sure he would have winkled out the truth.

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    • The source of the “Richard Liveth Yet” phrase is a poem written while the Duke of York (Richard’s father) was still alive, and Richard was yet an infant.

      I’ve added the source to the essay above, so there shouldn’t be any misunderstandings. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • That’s really clever!

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      • Sorry if this appears in the wrong place.

        Perhaps we have been talking slightly at cross purposes Jasmine. My remark about you bringing up the princes was a reference to this discussion. 😉

        When I said that most people I know don’t keep on about the princes, it is perhaps because they are lay people, They assume that Richard killed the princes in order to become king and that is easily answered. Then I go on to tell them about his positive acts and they have all accepted it. I still maintain that there is an argument to be used that, regarding the Princes, nothing can be proved (here we agree!), which makes any discussion pointless because no-one can be proved wrong or right – it just becomes a matter of opinion. (Mine is the ‘innocent until proven guilty ‘, because I think that is the fairest option, especially considering Richard’s known character up to 1483, etc). The discussion then goes round in circles, as this has done! I don’t refuse to discuss it, maybe I am lucky as my acquaintances have all accepted my arguments. I admit to them that the princes’ fate can’t be proved either way, but as I said originally, until more evidence is found no-one gets anywhere.

        Glad to hear you are happy to talk about Richard’s positive attributes. Shall we, then? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jasmine on said:

        Reply to jrlarner – Yes, we do seem to be at cross purposes. You seem to think I am negative about Richard – I most certainly am not. I would not have been a Ricardian for all these years, if I didn’t think history had treated him badly and his reputation has suffered.

        Perhaps in all my years as a Ricardian, I have unfortunately only run into people who want to discuss the princes. LOL

        Now at least, I can point them in the direction of Josephine Wilkinson’s excellent book on the subject.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jasmine on said:

      This is a reply to both jrlarner and Merlyn:

      Where did I say that I cannot put aside the question of the princes? I did not – I said that most of the people I have spoken to over the past decades about Richard III could not.

      I am perfectly happy to talk about Richard’s many positive attributes and his achievements. One cannot really be a Ricardian if one doesn’t admire the man, after all.

      All I am saying is that in any discussion with ‘non-believers’ there comes a point where the disappearance of the boys is raised. Nothing can alter the fact that they disappeared from history during Richard’s reign. There are many theories of what happened to them, but no proof in favour of one theory or another.

      In a discussion, where the question has been raised, one cannot simply refuse to discuss it – the people you are trying to convert to a positive view of Richard would take that to mean you ‘really’ thought he was guilty and didn’t want to admit it.

      I agree with Merlyn that in 1483, the boys were no threat to Richard. The non-believers’ question at this point in the discussion is naturally ‘ What about in 1486, when Edward would have been 16? Or 1488, or 1490?’

      As you say, we will have to agree to disagree. However we cannot ignore the fact that the disappearance of the boys is the elephant in the room in any discussion with people who have traditionalist leanings.

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  4. bloodofcherries on said:

    I spotted an ad for this panel talk in BBC History Magazine. Not expecting miracles but it’s encouraging to see a willingness to “explore the wide ranging impact of the discovery and its ramifications for disciplines as diverse as archaeology, history, literature and drama”, instead of insisting that nothing has changed. http://www.britac.ac.uk/events/2015/The_Skeleton_in_the_Car_Park.cfm

    Liked by 1 person

  5. No one denies that most people in the west grow up with the idea that Richard the Third did away with the two boys. That’s, actually, the reason the Fellowship of the White Boar came about – which then became the Richard the Third Society. If he was viewed by all as a just and good king, there would be no need for any of this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jasmine on said:

      Those hoping that the publicity surrounding the reburial will cause a knock-on effect among academics leading to a reassessment of Richard’s life and times might like to look at the BBC History magazine’s special Richard III edition. I haven’t seen it myself, but judging from the posts from Ricardians who have, it is full of traditionalist articles from Nigel Jones, Michael Hicks, Dan Jones etc. There is an article by Philippa Langley, but that, it seems, is on page 88 after all the traditionalist article.

      What a lost opportunity for a more balanced assessment.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The traditionalists won’t be shifted. Even if absolute proof were offered today, Hicks & Jones’ income depends on the traditionalist view of Richard being perpetuated. (Witness how Hicks tried desperately to deny the skeleton Philippa found was Richard. He can’t bear anything that supports York and not Tudor.) New scholars/writers/professors will have to come onto the stage, which is what I’ve been trying to say all along. Give it a few years.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. None of these authors can afford to change their opinions or have their opinions challenged – too much careerism at stake. The wheel of fortune turns slowly but it will turn – and in Richard’s direction.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jasmine on said:

      For people who do not believe the disappearance of the boys is the elephant in the room when discussing Richard with people, perhaps they should check out the threads on the British Medieval History FB site and see just how difficult it can be to convince the members of a positive view of Richard.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, there’s no point in trying to persuade them – they’re close minded and have already chosen their side! I was thinking about people who may have only just become interested in Richard since his rediscovery and who haven’t been indoctrinated yet. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. mairemartello on said:

    Well, if you’re talking about intelligent replies to over-the-top silliness about Roundworms, Old Bones, Tricky Dick, Gary Glitter, Serial Incestor, Wife Poisoner, Child Molester, Prince of Wales-Killing and Stealing Candy from Kiddies, you’re right – it’s completely pointless.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. blancsanglier on said:

    Well – being as Jasmin is a ‘Ricardian for many years’ – I find it very strange that all she can talk about is the Princes’ issue. I have been a Ricardian for 42 years and when I have discussed Richard with those who are not too familiar with him – they are very interested to hear about his life in general. The Princes issue comes up at the end and they usually say something like ‘he doesn’t sound to me like the sort of person who would do that’ . . . . the Princes should go the same way as the myth about the withered arm… and the strawberry ‘reaction’.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jasmine on said:

      Perhaps, blancsanglier, ‘…all I can talk about is the Princes’ issue…’ is because I am responding to replies to my original post. There has been no thread drift in my replies. That does not mean that outside this particular thread, I do not talk about anything else in connection with Richard.

      I am interested that my original post and the subsequent responses have provoked such an intense response from a variety of people. I think it goes some way to prove my point.

      However, just to put the record straight, and avoid any further misunderstanding, I am a Ricardian. I have a large collection of books about Richard. I have read JAH’s books, AC’s books and many others from cover to cover. I am certainly capable of speaking about Richard’s many achievements both as Duke of Gloucester and as King. I have engaged in many conversations over the years with a wide range of people from Romantic Ricardians, academic Ricardians, traditionalists, semi-traditionalists and those simply wishing to learn more about Richard. In the majority of cases, the issue of the princes was raised. I know all the defence points and obviously go through them. Some are satisfied with the answers, but many are not.

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  9. mairemartello on said:

    I think it’s a bit over-the-top to say that the responses to your comment in regard to this particular blog are “intense.” Frankly, I get bored with this back and forth about the princes. I enjoy talking about them with newbies to the Ricardian scene but talking about them to “Ricardians” and anti-Ricardians is a total waste of time. If we must talk about a controversial issue with Richard, I’d rather talk about Hastings – there we have an actual recorded event from beginning to end.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. skiinglady on said:

    I think that things will change for Richard but it will take some time. It is often not appreciated that there is a tendency to “toe the line” in all branches of academia , The medical profession being probably the worst as the great nutritionist john yudkin was pilloried for suggesting sugar and not fat was responsible for obesity. He has now been shown to be right long after his death. Most researchers need funding and so do not challenge
    Academia changes slowly. If you want your work published in journals or to advance your career then you are traditionalists. Part of the trouble is that ricardians are viewed as romantic eccentrics or mavericks that no-one is allowed to agree with but this is immensely frustrating as I believe their version is broadly correct.
    The answer is not to let up and to constantly research the archives ourselves. I recently heard a talk by Dr Phil Stone where he said that academia would not research anything as it is scared. The answer to the mystery of the princes is out there somewhere. Possibly not one dramatic discovery but little clues and that is why I wholehearted support philippa langleys “missing princes project” as it is up to us ricardians to search archives in our hundreds as the task would be way to much for one researcher

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