Oh, good grief, now we have a bearded Richard (totally evil, of course) courtesy of Dan Jones. Mr Jones is having a laugh, right? Must be.
I would not even know who those characters are meant to be, they are SO far from the styles and portraits of the period. I know it is a documentary and not a feature film, but when my partner has applied for extra work in period productions they often stipulate ‘must have long hair, no tattoos, clean shaven’ or whatever criteria is necessary. These look like generic fantasy characters or, worse, modern guys in fancy dress!
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And what about the apparently 17/18 year old Edward V? There’s no way that the actor they cast can pass for 12. Clearly Edward was old enough to rule by himself, I don’t know why Evil Bearded Uncle Richard insisted on being Lord Protector…
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The costumes were atrocious and inaccurate. At least the men were wearing non 15th centuty full armor unlike in The White Queen, but still, it’s inaccurate. The only costume that was accurate to me was the red dress Elizabeth Woodville was wearing with a headdress. The rest of them were generic fantasy.
He hath rummaged thru file footage & costumes from his auld
documentary series on BRITAIN’s BLOODIEST DYNASTY and
fails to realize the YORK/LANCASTER feud begins in the reign
of Edward II and has in it the seeds of THE ANARCHY that put
PLANTAGENET as a HOUSE dynastic-ally on the throne? Poor
Richard 3rd never ever wore a beard, nor was as autocratic as either
Bolingbroke or Richard II, he reminds me for good or ill of Harold
Godwinson. The victors write and/or rewrite history, there are the
factions inside the nobility that sometimes think like yesteryear’s
Tories and other factions that made the arguments stick that were
an institutional buttress to John Locke’s social compact ideas!!!
Dan Jones tries not to stoop to rumour mongering but can often
believe as an article of faith yesteryear’s political propaganda. We
ought not to assume England to be unified of opinion and a volatile
mob restricted by geographic boundaries, the fortunes of the great
are thusly that. After 1450, the politics changes, and even though the
House of Tudor as a dynasty pushes the idea of an Absolute Monarch
eventually there is a democracy of the soul like the one Alfred the Great
wanted for his people. I place the seeds of the Wars of the Roses inside
everything that Edward III cannot correct or reform, as i think of 1381.
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Such scruffy beards too….it’s like going back to the old fallacy that men ‘back then’ all had big wild beards and either greasy lank long hair or hair hacked off by a knife. Men have been shaving since the bronze age; the razors exist. Young Saxon men were clean shaven; they grew beards along with their growing status in their communities. It’s one of these weird myths like the ones that medieval people walked around smeared with dirt or that they were all barely five foot tall and had no teeth. All false.
I just posted my reaction to the content of the first three episodes of Dan Jones’s excellent adventure. I hope he responds to my long posts, but i will forgive him if he doesn’t right now he’s basking in the afterglow of a limelight that is almost Shakespearean. ENJOY! (i will be quite shocked if humoure’d with his reply!)
DAN JONES, ONE BIG QUESTION, WHY DOES YOUR RICHARD III LOOK AND ACT LIKE JOHN OF GAUNT, BROTHER TO EDWARD THE BLACK PRINCE? The actor you tapped for the role initially to me brought to mind King John, but I’ve had an epiphany. Between a very young Richard II and John of Gaunt, there was a tension and an unease, the seeds later on of all quarrels between all cousins, that in time became generational and tore apart the Plantagenets as a dysfunctional dynasty! I agree that Edward IV’s will must have handed RIII a position not unlike Humphrey of Gloucester and/or John of Gaunt. The young man playing Edward V strikes me as being 15 or 17 and not thirteen, he also is like a slightly more hansome version of Richard II upon facing the peasants in 1381. If Jack Cade’s revolt suggests social tensions existed in the London of the 1480s almost equal to the ones experienced by the generation after the Bubonic Plague, several things are going on. If RIII had no pre-set plan and expected Edward IV to live a decade or two longer and in a very healthy manner, if in the midst of a money quarrel, Lord Rivers is not co-operating and has unsatisfactory answers, then events did take a course that led to the tragedy of a plague on the heels of a famous battle hitting London in 1485 and taking away 15,ooo souls. If in RIII’s mind, Humphrey of Gloucester, John of Gaunt and his own father Richard, Duke of York define to him the legal scope and boundaries of being a Lord Protector well long before Oliver Cromwell’s upstart and bold ambitions, this then is the quarrel happening before Bishop Stillington’s unexpected testimony about marriages in the plural. Are you trying to frame the context of RIII’s actions inside the legal precedents from the reign of Richard II, given that it might be a tad unfair to say the Wars of the Roses stemmed from the ability of Edward III to have quite a few sons? Like E4th, RIII had three lines of descent from E3rd, one of them was Beaufort, because Cecily Neville is their mother!
The English Sweat hit York prior to Bosworth, but it really hit London right after the two armies meet near or on Redemore Plain! There is a hill near Dadlington, if someone is up on its summit, one can look across up over to Ambion Hill. RIII clearly expected more troops from York to arrive, and ironically enough, the first generation of Beefeaters somehow survived being in the midst of this plague that tended to be confined to England and liked to dog Tudor as a dynasty. Was the meeting of Henry Tudor with Lord Stanley up on the hill near Dadlington, and this triggered Richard’s legendary cavalry charge?
As to Lord Rivers leading Edward IV down a salacious and lewd “white rose” primrose path, Hastings was the drinking buddy who all along, from Towton onwards, who was more likely to be in the immediate vicinity of Edward IV!!! Likewise if the Duke of Buckingham, who tacitly for all practical purposes is a Beaufort, is seeming to back RIII to the hilt of the sheath’s dagger he often fiddles with, did Richard III make the stupidest decision of his life by trusting Buckingham, his young cousin? I am trying to ignore the two guys with that dukedom title who helped to define the reigns of Charles the 1st and his son, Charles II. —— Dan Jones, your tendency to utilize Mancini’s account in order to bring in the rumours Sir Thomas More gathered together perhaps leads up a metaphoric painting into a corner if not several! —— Did Richard III predicate his idea of the role of an ideal sovereign on the life of Alfred the Great and the oath the Barons swore to his ancestress Matilda, mother of Henry II? He is well aware how Edward III was treated like a pawn on a chessboard by Queen Eleanor, Edward II and Roger Mortimer, each in their turn, whether in full control or not. He is even aware of the urban legend “street rumours” that Kit Marlowe popularized in a history play. He knows that the old advisers of Edward III undercut Richard II’s regal 14th year of life good word when offering pardons to the leading rebels around Wat Tyler and John Ball. He’d be aware that Archbishop Sudbury had died a martyrs death during the discontent. If he is also aware that people around his own father had a connection to Jack Cade, the word Mortimer springs to mind again, then he knows how much like the populare followers of the Gracchi brothers of Ancient Rome some of the people around his own father were. NOBLESSE OBLIGE. —– Richard III conceptualizes himself as being chivalrous, and obeying the code. He might have not violated medieval law as often as you assume he did, but it is a given he was faced with a string of challenges to his authority. If Perkin Warbeck was actually a Plantagenet, and possibly one of the sons of Elizabeth Woodville, if his “confession” is even half accurate, if Titulus Regius is actually valid, then the beheading of the Earl of Lincoln elevates two claims. Did Richard III half humour the Beaufort family by having he and his wife crowned in the same 1483 ceremony? Did Henry 7th actually have to marry Elizabeth of York as he is alternatively ignoring and then reversing Titulus Regius? If Bosworth in 1485 is rather like 1066 if the claim of Henry Tudor can be said to be almost as flimsy as that of William the Conqueror, can it be said that not until H7 marries the daughter of Edward IV does he sit easy, despite or because of Stoke?
Jean, I think you are crediting Jones with more intelligence than he actually has! I think he just wanted to show ‘evil, murdering usurper’ Richard because it makes a more exciting and ‘bloody’ story!
This show was anti York from the start. Dan Jones made it look like Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York wanted to start the feuding by saying that he didn’t care to bring his country to peace unlike Margaret of Anjou. Ridiculous. He only made Edward lV, Elizabeth Woodville, the Earl of Warwick, Margaret Beaufort, and the princes either look good, innocent, or people of their times. It’s only Richard lll gets the evil cartoon villain character which isn’t realistic to history. This show was an utter disappointment and disrespectful to the real people.
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