Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, known to posterity as the Kingmaker, was a very prominent figure in the 15th century and featured in one of my very early books. He was born today, 22 November, in 1428.
I’ve seen numerous depictions of him, but have just happened upon a drawing (see above) that I think is probably very accurate of Warwick in his later years, when he was bitter and vengeful. Not a man to mess with lightly. And to think that Margaret of Anjou made him kneel before her for fifteen minutes!
We all have different ideas of what famous people from the past actually looked liked. Medieval illustrations are usually generic and give no idea at all, and portraits cannot be relied on, except perhaps in the case of Richard III, who has been proven to actually look like his (untampered-with) portraits. We’ve even been able to learn about his body and recreate his face from his actual skull measurements.
We’re told Edward IV was knock-’em-dead handsome, but his portrait doesn’t speak of this. Not to me, anyway. He looks bland and pudgy….but I suppose that at six feet four inches and being the man with all the power, he probably did stop people in their tracks. Especially the fair sex!
Well, does the top illustration fit with your idea of the great Richard Neville? Or do you see him in a vastly different way?