Thursday, April 30, 2009

In Which the Dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham pay homage to the Prince of Wales

(Cross-posted on Medieval Woman, in case you think you think you're seeing double)

Last night, when revising My Heart Split with Sorrow, I ran into the annoying scenario of having to rewrite a scene in order to account for one of my historical characters' known whereabouts. Once I realized that I could do so without sacrificing a big chunk of necessary dialogue, I was a happy camper.

Anyway, here's the record in British Library Additional Manuscripts 6113, folio 74de, as transcribed for me, that made me do my rewrite. It's an account of a dinner hosted by Edward, Prince of Wales, on November 9, 1477, and the homage done to him afterward. Ironically, in light of what was to happen in 1483, the first man to pay his respects was Richard, Duke of Gloucester; the second was Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham.

1. M[emorandu]m that in the yere of our lorde / ml iiijc lxxvij /
2. on the ixth day of November / The Prince Feasced
3. the greate Parte of all the nobles Temporell /
4. beinge Presente at that generall counsell w[i]t[h]
5. all the Judgges and Barons of the Kinges eschequer
6. where after dynner / his Brother The Duke of
7. Yorke was Sette on the Beddes fote besyde the
8. clothe of Astate / And his uncle The Duke of
9. Gloucester on gorde / And on bothe his knees /
10. Pottynge his handes betwene the Princes handes
11. dyd hym homage for suche landes as he helde
12. of hym / And so kyssed hym / And that don The
13. Prince thanked his sayde uncle / that yt lyked hym
14. to do yt so humbly / And in lyke forme after
15. hym dyd the Duke of Buckingeh[a]m Also /
16. The Duke of Suffolke / The Marquis Dorsette
17. Therle Rivers / The lorde Lisle / Sir [blank] Bryan
18. chefe Judge of the comon Place / And the Officers
19. of Armes had the Rome made by gentlemen usshers
20. Clarencieux Kinge at Armes
21. Norrey Kinge at Armes
22. Chester Harrolde
23. Herforde Harrolde
24. Seales Poursev[a]unte beinge there presente

George, Duke of Clarence, of course, missed this dinner: he was a prisoner in the Tower and would be executed on February 18, 1478.

Incidentally, Paul Murray Kendall writes in Richard the Third that prior to 1483, Richard "had had small opportunity to know Buckingham well." How well Buckingham and Gloucester actually knew each other is unknown, but opportunities certainly weren't lacking: in addition to their being together on this occasion in 1477, the men also attended the young Duke of York's wedding in January 1478, where they were given the job of leading the little bride into the wedding feast. In 1471, they were among the nobles who joined Edward IV's triumphant entry into London following the Battle of Tewkesbury, and in 1474, Richard was one of the men who nominated Henry to the Order of the Garter, after which Richard and Harry seem to have attended at least one Garter feast together. They were each summoned to Edward IV's last Parliament in 1483, where Henry was among the men appointed triers of petitions for England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

Richard III: As Told by Lolcats

From my parent blog:

Not long ago, it occurred to me that with all the ink that's been spilled on Richard III, there has not yet been a telling of his story through Lolcats. Naturally, this is a situation that I thought should be remedied straightaway. (There's even one at the end for you Ricardians who patiently follow this blog, hoping that I'll see the light.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

More Books!

Since my last post on the subject, I've been pleased to hear that several more books about Richard III and related subjects are due out this year.

First, David Hipshon, as he has kindly informed me, is the author of the forthcoming Routledge book on Richard III I mentioned a couple of posts ago. (It will be published in paperback as well as hardback.)

Second, fellow Woodvillians (if there are Ricardians, there should certainly be Woodvillians, right?) will be pleased to know that Edward Woodville is the subject of a biography by Christopher Wilkins entitled The Last Knight Errant: Sir Edward Woodville and the Age of Chivalry. Amazon UK has it listed as coming out in October.

Third, David Baldwin, who has written a biography of Elizabeth Woodville as well as a book called The Lost Prince: The Survival of Richard of York, has a book entitled The Kingmaker's Sisters due out in June. I'm very much interested in seeing this one, as two of the sisters particularly interest me: Katherine, married to William Hastings, and Margaret, married to John de Vere, the Earl of Oxford.

Clearly, time to remind hubby that it's time for that Amazon UK gift certificate he's been promising me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Richard, The Young King To Be

I finally finished Josephine Wilkinson's new biography, Richard, The Young King To Be. It covers Richard's life until 1475, ending with Edward IV's anticlimatic excursion to France.

On the whole, I thought this was well done. Though highly sympathetic to Richard, it avoided the romanticism of Paul Murray Kendall (no escaping with Anne to breathe the free air of the moors, for instance). Richard's marriage to Anne is viewed as a pragmatic move by both parties, rather than as a match of childhood sweethearts, and Wilkinson even dares to suggest that one of Richard's illegitimate children could have been born during his marriage, as opposed to the traditional Ricardian view, which insists that they were born either in his unmarried days or through immaculate conception. In addition to noting the identification of Katherine Haute as a possible mistress of Richard's, she comes up with another candidate as well. Richard's land transactions involving the Countess of Oxford, the Countess of Warwick, and the young Duke of Bedford are examined in detail, and though Wilkinson puts most of the blame on Edward IV and Clarence, she doesn't absolve Richard entirely.

I did have a couple of reservations. Moving dangerously close to Kendall territory, Wilkinson presents the young Richard as idolizing his brother Edward. (One such passage reads, "For him, Edward was the realisation of the the angelic prophecy that foretold the return of the righteous, sacred king" (p. 98). This is psychologically quite plausible, but it's not something we know as fact, and Wilkinson doesn't produce any sources to verify her assertion. Later, during a brief excursion into the future, Wilkinson states categorically that Edward V was illegitimate and that the Woodvilles were planning to "depose" Richard from his protectorate by rushing Edward to London so that he could be crowned immediately (p. 134). Wilkinson, like other writers who accept Richard's accusations against the Woodvilles as fact, doesn't explain why, if the Woodvilles were trying to rush to London, Anthony Woodville dawdled so long at Ludlow with his charge and met Richard III at his lodgings instead of pressing onto London. Maybe Wilkinson will attempt an explanation in her next book.

All in all, though, this was an interesting look at a part of Richard's life that has been given relatively scant attention by historians. As it appears that this will be a two-part biography, I'll be interested in seeing that Wilkinson makes of the older Richard.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Books! Books! Books!

Cock-eyed optimist that I am, I'm excited to see several new books on The Man coming out soon:

Richard III: The Young King by Josephine Wilkinson. This is part one of a two-part biography of Richard, and it's winging its way to me now. (Wilkinson also has a biography of Mary Boleyn in the offing.)

Richard III by Ann Kettle. This is published by Routledge and is offered at the whopping price of 54 pounds, so I assume it's meant for the academic market. Every time I try to search for it on Routledge's site, it times out on me; maybe you'll have better luck.

Richard III and the Death of Chivalry by David Hipshon. According to its description, this book attributes Stanley's betrayal of Richard to Richard's support of the Harringtons in the Harrington-Stanley feud.

On the fiction front, I posted a review of Emma Darwin's A Secret Alchemy on my main blog. I really enjoyed it. It features two historical characters, Anthony and Elizabeth Woodville, and one fictional contemporary character, a historian who's writing an academic study of the brother and sister. Richard III makes only a couple of appearances, but much of the story takes place during his reign.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Christmas Newsletter From Richard III and Anne

Another year almost over! Who could have guessed that 1483 could have passed so quickly? Well, time flies when you’re having fun, they say!

First, the big news. Richard got a new job! It involves a lot more prestige and rewards, but also a lot more responsibility, so he wasn’t really sure whether he wanted to take it or not. But after talking it over with family and friends, he decided to go for it, and so he did! There were a couple of minor obstacles in the way, but they weren’t as hard to get around as he thought they would be at first. Anyway, he’s been in his new position since July, and though he’s not one to brag, we think he’s doing a pretty good job in it. Some of the old staff didn’t care for him taking over, it’s true, but some people just don’t like change, even when it’s good for them. We know they’ll adjust.

The only bad thing about the new job is that it requires Anne to do a lot of entertaining, so she had to move to London with Richard and leave little Ned up north with Anne’s mum. We really miss them both, but Ned is doing well. Now that it looks as if he’ll be going into the new “family business,” he’s got a lot of learning to do anyway.

Anne’s mum is such a card, by the way! When she heard about Richard’s new job, she said, “Well, maybe now you can spare me an acre or two, the pair of you!” She’s so funny, she makes the north seem a little warmer just by being there.

Richard’s mum is doing well too. There was a bit of a dust-up when she heard of some foolish gossip about her just before Richard got his new job, which some very silly people blamed on Richard himself! But everything’s been smoothed over now, and she’s back to praying at Berkhamsted just as if nothing ever happened at all. She tells Richard that she prays for him more than ever now, and we certainly do appreciate that.

Anyway, we’re adjusting pretty well to Richard’s new job and to our new digs in London. Anne wants a little company there, so we’re trying to get Richard’s niece Elizabeth—you remember that pretty girl whose father was always trying to pinch someone’s arse—to come join us there. It’s a delicate situation because her mother is VERY overprotective and has her nose out of joint for some reason too. But Richard says that he thinks he can sweeten her up for the right price. We certainly hope so, because if he doesn’t, Elizabeth just might get fed up and marry this dreadful man named Henry who’s been after her hand. His mother (the Henry creature’s, that is) used to be positively underfoot here in London, trying to get her precious Henry a position, and to hear her talk her darling boy could do Richard’s job just as well as he could. The very nerve! We don’t envy her husband one bit—how many times can you say, “Yes, dear,” in an evening? But she’s back at home where she belongs now, and it doesn’t look as if we’ll be hearing anything from her and her precious son any time soon—which is just another Christmas blessing!

The best to you and yours this Christmastide.

Richard and Anne