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Not a book to be taken seriously….

King Edward IV

Would you like a few sniggers and outright guffaws? Yes? Then I have just the book for you—Lives of England’s Monarchs by H. E. Lehman. I was searching for something specific, and for some reason Google took me first to page 182…

“…Edward [IV] was a large man possessed of great leadership ability and personal charm. But in many ways he lacked foresight, and was impulsive to his own hurt. He alienated many of his strongest supporters by seducing their wives. In Edward’s behalf, it should be added that, in those cases, it was the husbands, not the wives, who complained most strenuously…”

He alienated many of his strongest supporters by seducing their wives???? Where have I been? This is the first I’ve heard of these mass seductions and furious husbands. Does anyone know any more?

And from page 181 of the same book…

“…Edward’s youngest brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III) was always loyal. King Edward trusted and made Richard vice-regent for all the northern provinces of England. In reward for his loyalty, Edward gave Anne Neville, Countess of Northumberland, to Richard as his bride. (If that name sounds familiar, it is because she is the same Anne Neville, who briefly, was married to Queen Margaret’s Edward, Prince of Wales, near the end of Henry VI’s tragic reign.) Richard defended England against Scottish invasion, and secured the northland throughout Edward’s reign…”

Countess of Northumberland? Wouldn’t Harry Percy have noticed when his wife turned up as Richard’s queen? Was that the reason for Percy’s ill attendance at Bosworth? Oh, and the author also declares that Warwick Castle was in Northumbria.

saucy-lady

More from page 181…

“…Fourteen year old Henry Tudor (later Henry VII) was a trouble-maker in Northumberland, but bastardy in both his parent’s lines of descent (i.e. bastard Tudor and bastard Beaufort) made his royal connections seem too remote ever to be a real threat to the Yorkist line…Even so, just to be on the safe side, Edward exiled him from England. Henry Tudor went to live with his paternal uncle, Jasper Tudor, in Brittany, France…”

King Henry VII

Edward exiled him? Then spent years and year trying to lure him back? I think not! Edward would have grabbed the little varmint there and then, no messing about. (Oh, if ONLY!)And Brittany wasn’t in France at that point. You couldn’t make it up. Well, H.E. Lehman has, clearly.

For more entertainment, you should look at the book itself. http://tinyurl.com/hchylqp. If the link doesn’t work, Lives of England’s Monarchs by H. E. Lehman is available in Google books.

 

BBC Radio Leicester interviews John Ashdown-Hill …

bbcradioleicester… about his book “The Private Life of Edward IV”.

Here, at 45:12, he discusses Edward’s legal marriage, his bigamous marriage and his (other) mistresses.

Here, at about 49:00 , he disscusses Edward’s (hitherto little known) relationship with Henry, Duke of Somerset and his visits to Leicester.

Descriptions of two important Ricardian books….

Here’s how Kent County Council describes the two important Ricardian books.

https://erl.overdrive.com/media/1389033

Richard III:A Small Guide to the Great Debate by Annette Carson

“Ever since the discovery of his lost grave in Leicester, the eyes of the world have been drawn to the twists and turns surrounding England’s King Richard III… Annette Carson, acclaimed author and expert on Richard’s reign (and one of the team who found him), has published A Small Guide to the Great Debate, a brief summary of the main arguments concerning his actions and reputation. Carson has researched and written extensively on Richard III. Her book Richard III: The Maligned King (The History Press, 2008) was revised in 2013 and sold out within 3 months. The print edition of A Small Guide was published on 1 July this year and is already stocked, in hundreds, by visitors’ centres at Leicester, Bosworth Battlefield and elsewhere. Written as a succinct, straightforward summary of the facts, this short handbook outlines how King Richard came to be portrayed as a monster-villain by the Tudors, and how a backlash in later centuries created the ‘Great Debate’ over his reputation, which still rages today. It also analyses the mystery of the ‘Princes in the Tower’, examining what people actually said and did at the time of their disappearance, and who profited from their removal. The book sets out all the main theories and arguments, together with their strengths and weaknesses, in a non-scholarly style, without imposing judgements and conclusions. An invaluable reference resource, it invites readers to weigh up the evidence and make up their own minds. Recommended for anyone interested in Richard III, for libraries and also as a reference for the media, A Small Guide sticks to the verifiable facts while offering insights you won’t find in conventional history books.”
https://kent.overdrive.com/media/1241128

The Last Days of Richard III and the fate of his DNA by John Ashdown-Hill

“The Last Days of Richard III contains a new and uniquely detailed exploration of Richard’s last 150 days. By deliberately avoiding the hindsight knowledge that he will lose the Battle of Bosworth Field, we discover a new Richard: no passive victim, awaiting defeat and death, but a king actively pursuing his own agenda. It also re-examines the aftermath of Bosworth: the treatment of Richard’s body; his burial; and the construction of his tomb. And there is a fascinating story of why, and how, Richard III’s family tree was traced until a relative was found, alive and well, in Canada. Now, with the discovery of Richard’s skeleton at the Greyfriars Priory in Leicester, England, John Ashdown-Hill explains how his book inspired the dig and completes Richard III’s fascinating story, giving details of how Richard died, and how the DNA link to aliving relative of the king allowed the royal body to be identified.”

Richard, the man in blue and ermine….

edward-iv-book

The above illustration is of Edward IV receiving a book from Anthony Woodville. With the king are his queen, Elizabeth Woodville, and his heir, the future Edward V.

Looking at it, I found myself wondering if the man in blue and ermine, third from left, might be Richard III. As Duke of Gloucester, of course. Ermine suggests he has to be of royal blood, which means that it could also be George of Clarence. My search for the answer commenced.

To begin with, when was the illustration painted? After all, George died in 1478, so a later date would eliminate him from the puzzle. Prince Edward seems to be under ten. Seven/eight or so, perhaps? He was born in 1470, so it is still possible that the man in blue is George. Richard remains well and truly in the running, of course.

A Google image search followed, with me examining the “page” of every version of the illustration. That is how I hunted it down to being Lambeth Palace “Ms 265, f.VI v Edward IV, with Elizabeth Woodville, Edward V and Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III, from the ‘Dictes of Philosophers,’ c.1477 (vellum). It is of Earl Rivers  (Anthony Woodville 1440-1483) presenting his translation of the Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers to the king and his family.

So, it is Richard!

richard-as-duke-of-gloucester

Now, I do not claim to be the first to discover this. Indeed not, so please don’t think I seek laurels. Not even a pat on the head. To begin with, it has already been positively identified as him. No, I am just pleased to think that I saw something and followed it through to find out I was right. Would I like to be the first to find a new anything about Richard? You bet your bottom dollar!

New Book Released About ‘Dickon’!

I and my friend, Susan Lamb, have just released our first (but hopefully not last) collaboration, ‘Dickon’s Diaries’ – a collection of anecdotes from our favourite king about his life in ‘Muddleham’ with Anne, his ‘quene’, and his ‘loyalle servaunt’, Lovell. It is based on the popular Facebook page, ‘Dickon for his Dames’, but is 95 percent new material and takes the form of a diary recounting humorous anecdotes and scrapes that he, Anne and Lovell (mainly Lovell) get into while living part in mediaeval times and yet interacting with modern technology.

Dickon is very popular with his ‘Dames’, who tend to swoon when in his presence and try their utmost to get closer to him. He finds some technology – his boxe of movyng pictures, YeBay and his boxe of coloured lights very helpful, but others are a problem, such as his ‘pingyng flashbox’ by which he sends texts to Lovell to remind him to fetch Jaffa Cakes from Tess-co.

If you would like to see some examples of the type of humour, ‘like’ our page, ‘Dickon for his Dames’ and take a look. Or ‘Look inside’ on Amazon by clicking on the picture below:

Cover of 'Dickon's Diaries'

 

New Year, old Ricardian books….

buck-and-walpole

Did someone acquire a nice little New Year treat?

At noon on 4th January, in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, the books in the above illustration were up for auction.

https://www.the-saleroom.com/…/lot-02e2b5da-0bc6-4ca7-a3ff-…

Here’s the description of Lot Number 58:-

“RICHARD III Buck (George) The History of the Life and Reigne of Richard the Third, 1647, London, W. Wilson, 4to, second edition, lacking frontispiece portrait, pp.152 plus index, blank K4, worm trace to f.f.e.p., becoming pin hole by p.21 (not affecting text), early ownership inscription to title [together with:] Walpole (Horace) Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard the Third, 1768, London, J. Dodsley, 4to, second edition, pp.134 plus single leaf Addition, 2 folding etched portraits incl. frontis as called for. First quire loose, soiling and staining, both copies in scuffed and bumped rebacked 18th century calf (2)”

More blinkered traditionalist mumbling about Richard….

religious-life-of-riii

I quote” “This controversial study argues that although Richard was indeed guilty of, or implicated in, most, if not all of the crimes of which he has been accused, this ruthless, inscrutable man was also very religious, an austere practitioner of a chivalrous code of ethics, a public benefactor and protector of the Church, a founder of chantries and a follower of a strict, puritanical code of sexual morality. He emerges in part a conventional figure of his time, but also, in part, a very unusual, little-understood man, as compelling and yet more complex than Shakespeare’s mythical anti-hero…”

The quote above, by the author Jonathan Hughes, appears to tell you all you need to know about the book in question. “The Religious Life of Richard III”, published 2000, is yet another wearisome and unsuccessful attempt to meld the myth with the truth. The author wants to believe all the bad things about Richard, but then comes up against the quandary of what to make of the few actual facts he’s prepared to face. The two viewpoints just will not meld, I fear.

The facts point to Richard being the very opposite of the remorseless, conscienceless tyrant the traditionalists insist upon. So Hughes concludes, conveniently, that Richard was an even more complex man than Shakespeare’s monster. Why not just concede that Richard III was an honest man who was forced into a situation that eventually cost him his life. He adhered to the law and did everything that was right, and if he chopped off a few heads, their owners well deserved it! He was a good king who would have been great. Instead his memory has been ‘got at’ relentlessly for centuries. Until now!

We’re on to these numbnuts! One day, they will be seen for the utter fools they are, digging a hole that is slowly getting deeper. One day it will collapse upon them. And serves them right.

So, Mr Hughes, you’ll have to forget all the gruesome murders and other lies cooked up by the Tudors, More, Morton and Shakespeare, and just accept what your own research has clearly indicated. Take off that blindfold! Richard III was a far better man than Henry VII, but was hideously murdered through treachery.

DICKON’S TUDOR CHRISTMAS CAROL

‘Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone….a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue, and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dog-days, and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas.

 

A description of Henry Tudor, locked away in his counting house?

No,  of of course it’s Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge from the famous story ‘A Christmas Carol.’

This Christmas, though, if you are looking for a little spoof and parody set in the late 15thc, Henry takes the place of Dickens’ baddie in a humorous  short story called DICKON’S TUDOR CHRISTMAS CAROL, written by Hesper Huffam.

Waking from a sleep, Henry is confronted by an old friend…William Stanley,minus his head. a series of other ghosts follow–Richard III as the Ghost of Christmas Past, annoyed at the blackening of his reputation; the recently executed Perkin Warbeck who confounds and confuses Henry; and the sinister LARGE ghost of Christmas Future, who shows him the unhappy  results of his avarice and suspicion. Will Henry listen to the ghosts and change his ways?  Will he get Elizabeth of York decent shoes and tell Morton where to stick his precious Fork? Will Mummy Beaufort be pacified..and what about Henry’s pet, Groat the Monkey?

 

A bit of light harmless fun for a winter’s night in.

tudor

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dickons-Tudor-Christmas-Hesper-Huffam-ebook/dp/B01N6D7HDK

The world’s most expensive book….?

Bay Psalm Book

According to AbeBooks, this is the world’s most expensive book. You are looking at the Bay Psalm Book printed in 1640, which sold at a Sotheby’s auction for £8.8 million ($14.2 million) on 26 November 2013.

The auction firm estimated the sale price would be between £9 million and £18 million ($15 million and $30 million) – but the final price still ensured it became the world’s most expensive printed book. The world’s most expensive paper document is Leonardo da Vinci’s journal, Codex Leicester, which sold for £19.1 million ($30.8 million) in 1994.

The Bay Psalm Book was the first book printed in what became the United States and this copy was owned by the Old South Church in Boston. And guess what? The church also has another copy that will not be sold. At one time, this church owned FIVE copies.

This Bay Psalm Book now belongs to financer and philanthropist David Rubenstein who plans to loan it to various libraries across the United States.

The last Bay Psalm Book to be sold before this one was bought at a Sotheby’s auction in 1947 for £94,000 ($151,000) by representatives bidding on behalf of Yale University.

So what’s all the fuss about? First, this book has huge historical value to America. Second, it’s very rare as only 1,700 copies were printed and just 11 survive, and, finally, this copy is in remarkable condition considering its age.

And what’s in the book? The Bay Psalm Book is a psalter, a book of psalms. Psalters can be illuminated with miniatures and decorated initials, and psalters, also known as psalteriums, have been produced since medieval times. Most branches of Christianity have their own versions of psalters.

http://www.abebooks.co.uk/books/rarebooks/worlds-most-expensive-book/bay-psalm.shtml?cm_mmc=nl-_-nl-_-UPrpt08-h00-baypalAH-121214TG-_-01cta&abersp=1

Over the centuries, there have been many famous psalters such as

The Canterbury Psalter http://www.moleiro.com/en/biblical-books/the-great-canterbury-psalter.html

The St Albans Psalter https://www.abdn.ac.uk/stalbanspsalter/english/translation/trans002.shtml

The Psalterium Romanum http://liberpsalmorum.info/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_Psalters

 

Henry III: Son of Magna Carta

Matt Lewis’s biography of Henry III will be released on 15th October 2016, in time to celebrate the 800th anniversary of his coronation.


The book will seek to understand the real impact of this oft-forgotten king and his long rule and examine why he is so forgotten by history.

The editing is just completed and here is a page to whet your appetite for the book, detailing Geoffrey de Neville’s problems trying to bring order to Gascony.

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