The above illustration is from the Spectator. Margaret Beaufort‘s machinations were indeed vital in the overthrow of the rightful king of England, Richard III. By treachery, of course, because she and her odious son never did anything honestly and up-front.
Maybe she couldn’t help her face, but the sourpuss above was probably spot-on. And she passed her Beaufort features on to her equally disagreeable son (below) Neither of them was good for England that’s for sure.
Dear Viscountessw, with regrets I read that Spectator review of the ‘new’ bio on MB (same as the old MB). The promises from Thomas Penn that we will get to read this MB in context of what we have so recently (cough cough) learned about the power and independence of the medieval woman reminds me again of how little our current scholars know about anything resembling research! Sylvia Thrupp (what a gem) covered The Merchant Class in London 1300-1500 with a thoroughness that would likely flatten Penn into oblivion, and shocker, she does indeed recognize the role and abilities and independent woman in the Guilds and in commerce, from apprenticeship through taking over the business (trade, craft, whatever it was in whatever form) after the husband died.
But the reigning scholarly authority on women must be Barbara Hanawalt, I have a few of her books, but possibly Penn has never read “The Wealth of Wives: Women, Law, and Economy in Late Medieval London” – and that doesn’t even cover what she has written about the peasant, childhood, gender and social control in medieval England!
Penn also dredges up a host of perpetually flogged misconceptions, no, intentionally repeated misconceptions! Anne Beauchamp certainly was not thrilled (we would think) to be legally declared dead by E4 but under the sweetness and light of MB and H7 she did NOT regain any of her inheritance, did she? The great crimes against her were not remediated by that great protagonist of women MB, were they?
And the Countess of Oxford, I may start screaming now, but that mess is for another post I think, suffice it to say Richard and John Howard were at the funeral of the Countess, not MB, odd, eh? And the chantry he paid for using the proceeds from Fowlmere – honoring those who fell protecting him at Barnet and Tewkesbury – ALSO included prayers for the Countess and her husband. What a brute, that Richard! Penn may not know any of this, however… and we could mention Katherine Hastings, who complained TO H7 that R3 treated her far better than he was doing, as he did with his cousin, the most unfortunate wife of John de Vere, another sister of Warwick, left virtually in poverty until E4 could be persuaded to forward her funds – R continued that funding.
But of all the annoying aspects of anything concerning MB it must be this faux piety! With any luck the Jones and Underwood bio will not disappear into the ether with this ‘new’ effort to rehabilitate an odious ‘survivor’ – they never meant it to be like this but they most efficiently record her rapacious greed, avarice, relentless quest to seize the inheritance of any woman vulnerable in her sights (usually related, like Cecily Neville, they were related to everyone). Just having yourself painted, years after you’ve seen as many Yorkist heirs executed, imprisoned, exiled or murdered as you felt obliged to order, as some dessiccated abbess-like wraith does not redeem what you did the first 50 years of your miserable life!
AND! the Yorkists did not “seize” power in 1461 – unless Penn wants to add Henry of Bolingbroke seized power in 30 September 1399 when he had his cousin conveniently expire at Pontefract Castle the following February! As to her Beaufort cousins remaining “resolutely Lancastrian and ended up dead” … pardon me Viscountessw, I need to go find a bag to scream into now…
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I agree with all you’ve written, amma19542019, so make it two bags, and we can scream together!
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you know Viscountessw, it’s Penn, he just triggers me… here I am trying to do mindfullness, in my little lockdown bubble – but honestly, this pathetic urge to rehabilitate H7 and his corrosive mother, well, it just crawls under my skin! The hypocrisy and rewriting history is suffocating!
ok, I’ll go find us a couple 13 gallon trash bags, eh?
oh, that book by Thrupp? it’s from 1948… hardly ‘new’ – well, maybe it would be new to Penn …