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Three howlers in the only sentence that mentions Richard….!

Henrietta Leyser

More groaning from Yours Truly, I fear. At the weekend I was taken to see Berry Pomeroy Castle in Devon. It was very beautiful, and my complaint is not to do with the castle, but with a book I bought in the gift shop.

It’s called Medieval Women, is by Henrietta Leyser, and has mixed reviews, although I had not heard of it before buying it. See it at:- https://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B00D3J2QE8/ref=acr_dpproductdetail_text?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

Being Richard’s strong supporter, I went straight to the index to find him. (Don’t we all?) One reference came up, on page 174. Here it is:-

“Margaret and Henry (My input: Yes, that Margaret and Henry) emerged from the Wars of the Roses in triumph but it could well have been otherwise. Widows who took their sons’ part in any kind of intrigue ran the risk of ending up destitute and in prison, a fate which Margaret had brought on herself for the part she had played in the conspiracy against Richard III in 1483.”

What howlers!!! She wasn’t a widow (unfortunately, because that blessed state would have meant Thomas, Lord Stanley had carked it—wishfully in a double ‘tragedy’ with his brother William) nor was she destitute or in prison. She had plotted against Richard, but her only punishment was to be placed in her husband’s care and not actually lose anything! Richard was too lenient, as usual. Oh, to be able to go back and put him on the right track where his foes were concerned! If I’d been him, Margaret Beaufort would indeed have been widowed, destitute and locked up forever (in a damp underground dungeon) with the key ‘lost’ somewhere in the North Sea.

So, Ms Leyser’s book clearly cannot be relied upon for anything. One small sentence contains three whacking great mistakes. Widowhood, destitution and imprisonment. What point is there in hoping the rest of the book will be better? So, a great disappointment, and I’d only looked at page 174!

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5 thoughts on “Three howlers in the only sentence that mentions Richard….!

  1. skiinglady on said:

    I have bought that book at an English heritage site but I have not had the time to read it all yet. It is quite good on the early medieval period but not on Richard…..

    Like

  2. McArthur, Richard P. on said:

    Read the passage again. It says she could have been destitute and in prison, not that she was.

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    • skiinglady on said:

      Actually I don’t agree with you. The sentence clearly implies the ‘fate’ that she brought on herself was imprisonment and destitution

      Liked by 1 person

      • viscountessw on said:

        It also says “a fate which Margaret had brought on herself for the part she had played in the conspiracy against Richard III in 1483.” HAD brought upon herself. So, we’re back to her being a widow, imprisoned and destitute in 1483.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. sighthound6 on said:

    I believe that the worst that happened to her was that she was in her husband’s care and just possibly under something akin to house arrest. A not uncommon fate for women in the middle ages and often ‘endured’ by those who were completely innocent.

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