History and cultural history (III)

We have already shown how Shakespeare was inadvertently influenced by contemporary or earlier events in setting details – names, events, badges or physical resemblance – for his Hamlet, King Lear and Richard III. What of Romeo and Juliet, thought to have been written between 1591-5 and first published, in quarto form, in 1597? The most… Continue reading History and cultural history (III)

Richard III and Robert Cecil (Part II)

In a previous post, we explored the theory that Shakespeare’s Richard III was actually based on the Elizabethan politician, Robert Cecil. Here is another discussion of the subject, Richard III and Robert Cecil, with references to the hypothesis that Shakespeare was actually the 17th Earl of Oxford, a descendant of the previous Earls of Oxford… Continue reading Richard III and Robert Cecil (Part II)

Playwrights and persistent historical myths

Today in 1564, Christopher Marlowe (right) was baptised in Canterbury. One of the plays for which he is most famous is       Edward II (left), traditionally dated a year before his own 1593 death. In it, he fuels the myth of Edward meeting his end by a red-hot poker. This is cited by Starkey in… Continue reading Playwrights and persistent historical myths

Why are hunchbacks always portrayed as evil….?

Well, it’s true. They are. And it’s wrong! A terrible injustice that I hope will soon be a thing of the past. Shakespeare turned Richard into something ridiculously grotesque and over the top, yet the truth was that he suffered from scoliosis, a condition that would not even have been evident in his lifetime, except to anyone… Continue reading Why are hunchbacks always portrayed as evil….?

Myths Being Revived

Dominic armed - note the helmet's narrow eye slit

I have been watching the BBC’s ‘The Hollow Crown’ with interest, as I have never actually seen the whole of Shakespeare’s Richard III and none of Henry VI (Parts I and II). At first I was appalled at Benedict Cumberbatch’s grotesquely exaggerated portrayal of Richard, but consoled myself by thinking that at least, because people… Continue reading Myths Being Revived

Good King Richard – A Reply to Shakespeare

A member of the Richard III Society, Ian Dixon Potter who is a playwright has written a new theatre play about Richard III which opens in London on December the 8th. <<‘Good King Richard’ is the culmination of many months of research going back to contemporary sources and presents a revised view of Richard III,… Continue reading Good King Richard – A Reply to Shakespeare

A grain of truth….?

Reading the previous excellent post, titled “Richard III’s back!” by jrlarner, must have made more of an impression on me than I realized, because I awakened this morning with Richard’s back on my mind. There I lay, too comfortable to get up, and my brain did its usual wandering. That’s why I keep a notebook by… Continue reading A grain of truth….?

New ‘Historians’…New Myths

Historians, historians. It seems we have a new generation writing about the Wars of the Roses and Richard, but still plying the same old, same old. Only with a new and disturbing twist. The current crop of books seem aimed at the ‘yoof’ market, targeted especially towards those whose knowledge of the Wars of the… Continue reading New ‘Historians’…New Myths

Robert Cecil–Was he Shakespeare’s Real Richard III?

Robert Cecil—Was He Shakespeare’s Real Richard? It is quite astounding that many traditionalists still trot out the old ‘Shakespeare was right’ trope when referring to Richard III, even though more statements in his famous depiction have been proved to be wrong than ‘right’ in regards to this maligned king. Shakespeare was, of course, a dramatist,… Continue reading Robert Cecil–Was he Shakespeare’s Real Richard III?