The seven "best"couples in history? Richard and Anne make it at seven….!

This image from the Salisbury Roll doesn’t appear in the article below

And how they make it is a mystery, as is the rest of this list, which puts together a truly weird collection. I mean, what was so very remarkable about John and Jackie Kennedy? They were good-looking, influential and rich….but does that make them the sixth “best” couple of all time? I think not. Same for Churchill and Clementine. Great couples, yes, but not in a list of seven in all history!

As for poor Richard and Anne, I’m not really sure how or why they made this peculiar list. The so-called experts who’ve been herded in to give their opinions aren’t exacty pro-Richard, and some of their opinions are downright weird.

According to Philippa Gregory (Expert? She’s a historical novelist with books to sell!): “….’I think it most likely that Anne judged rightly that nobody could protect her from the greed and jealousy of the House of York but a brother of the House of York, and wisely and bravely ran away from her sister’s house to marry Richard’….” Right. I haven’t read her book about Anne Neville, but I think I have the gist of it. And as this author has taken it upon herself to rename the Wars of the Roses the “Cousins War” I don’t think I’ll be bothering. Historical fiction is just that, fiction, and should not be peddled as fact. I’m afraid that, for me, Philippa Gregory crosses the line.

As for Professor Michael Hicks. He writes “….’While we might argue that Richard wanted to be buried at Westminster with his queen, there is some evidence that he tried to replace her before she died.’….” This is worded to make Richard appear an uncaring husband who couldn’t wait to be rid of his queen. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Richard did love Anne. It was his advisors who urged him to think of marrying again, and then only because Anne was on her deathbed. He died at Bosworth, a king grieving for both his wife and only legitimate child.

Shame on these “experts” for twisting things around to suit their own arbitrary opinions, which smack of schadenfreude! Never trust anyone whose sole purpose is to sell their books!

As a multi-published author myself, I have often written about actual historical figures. Fictionally, yes, but I have always included an Author Note in which I have owned up to my inventions. I have never peddled them as historical fact!

3 comments

  1. Obviously Professor Hicks isn’t aware of Barrie Williams discovery of evidence that Richard was trying to arrange a marriage with Juana for himself and a marriage with a Portugese Prince for Elizabeth of York. Therefore he interpreted Buck’s evidence of Elizabeth’s letter to Norfolk wrongly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Mry4441, the less said about Prof Hicks the better, he is of a ‘certain age’ – which shouldn’t be enough to condemn him as a dried up petty turnip, I know – but then, he and that insufferable eunuch, the Crowland Continuator, manage to bleat in the same vain hopes that someone out there still listens to them!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Whether or not Richard and Anne Neville were ‘in love’ in a 21st c sense of the concept (which admittedly might be less than desirable, no further comment here) both appear to have clung to the shared continuity of their larger family name, legacy, their ancestral roots – both were younger children – not to say disposable but also not to imply they were uppermost in the concerns of their parents’ plans either. Perhaps their marriage was a refuge for each other, and if not particularly ‘erotic/romantic’ in a 50-Shades-of-Whatever way it may have been intimate in ways ‘we’ can no longer even understand. They were safe with each other, and in that back stabbing, wretched era of civil war, that consumed their entire lives, I would think they had a peace and comfort with each other that should not be dismissed as trivial.

    Toni Mount, who does so much in respect to the everyday life of women of the era has written how poor was the actual nutrition of the well-to-do noblewoman (and probably men as well) – once you start extensive genealogical tables for Richard (he is related to EVERYONE) you quickly see that Anne’s death at 28 (?) was sadly not at all unusual, whether in childbirth or not. And, if she had had several miscarriages, and she could well have them, we don’t even have a date, month OR year for Edward’s birth – or I think the actual date of his death – then Anne could easily have had several miscarriages, all of which take a toll on a woman who’s nutrition might well have been seen as exemplary for her status of her day but horrifying to our understanding today.

    Great post V, as usual !

    Liked by 1 person

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