Did Hastings really look like this….?
The following article is not about this version of More’s fiction, but is to highlight two illustrations from within its pages. However, I could not resist including the only review.
The History of King Richard the Third: A Reading Edition
By Sir Thomas More, Saint.
Copyright 2005, George M. Logan. Indiana University Press.
The review is as follows:
So that’s More summed up! Now, to the illustrations that have raised my interest. They apparently date from 1466-70, and comprise Figure 4 on page 59, Here they are, and following them in italics is the joint caption taken from the book.
Fig. 4. From a collection of ink drawings, c.1466-70, of heraldic badges. (Badges were worn by followers, used to mark the ownership of moveable goods, etc.)
(1) Richard III: his white boar, with a motto he sometimes used, “tant le desiere” (“I have desired it so much”) – of indeterminate thrust, unlike his other motto, “Loyaulté me lie” (“Loyalty binds me”).
(2) William, Lord Hastings: presumably the face is his own; but Hastings is usually associated with other, more conventional devices.
By permission of the British Library: Additional MS. 40742, fols. 5, 11.
Well, Richard’s boar is suitably ferocious, and the motto is, presumably, appropriate for the years 1466-70. I cannot read what is written above the boar, no matter how I enlarge it. But poor Hastings. If the caption-writer’s guess is correct, and the lion does indeed bear a resemblance to him…oh dear. The ‘forehead’ hair has a realistic feel, as if he really did wear it like that, but those enormous ears and that large, pointy nose? For Hastings’ sake, I trust this is more a caricature than an honest likeness.