Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Back under the parking lot?

Nigel Jones is annoyed with those who, now that the body has been discovered, renew their arguments for the moral rehabilitation of Richard III. He thinks Shakespeare's version close to the truth and that "Richard III should be reburied under Leicester council’s car park":
.... There has been much talk about ‘re-writing history’ and countering ‘Tudor propaganda’; but the inconvenient truth (for Ricardians) is that the late king’s spine was indeed twisted by scoliosis and one of his shoulders was noticeably higher than the other. Those particular pieces of Tudor and Shakespearian “spin” were no more than the plain truth. So it is with the rest of Richard’s ‘black legend’. As far as serious historians are concerned, the case against Richard has long been closed. ....

Rising in the dock of History to hear the accusations against him, Richard III would be on his feet for a very long time. The murder of his two nephews, the Princes in the Tower of London, would, of course, head the charge sheet. But what about the even more brutal killing – committed in the same grim fortress twelve years before, and carried out by Richard’s own hands – the murder of the saintly and mentally fragile Henry VI, England’s rightful anointed king?

Or the elimination earlier in 1483 of William, Lord Hastings, the very man who had helped to engineer the coup which brought Richard to the throne? Hastings, accused of treason at a meeting of Richard’s new council, was dragged kicking and screaming his innocence to be decapitated on a rough wooden builder’s block after the psychopathic king had sworn to have his victim’s head off before he had eaten his lunch. Or the cold-blooded execution in Salisbury market place of his own chief henchman and former partner in crime, Henry Stafford, the 2nd Duke of Buckingham, who, perceiving Richard’s truly evil nature when it was too late, had finally turned to rebel against him? Or Richard’s seizure of Lord Rivers and Sir Richard Grey (respectively uncle and half-brother of the little princes), arrested in their beds after being entertained to dinner at Richard’s table and lulled into drunken sleep at the Rose and Crown Inn in Stony Stratford, before being sent north to Richard’s Yorkshire heartland to be quietly murdered. .... [more]
And more yet [2/7): The Discovery of Richard III: A Propaganda War | History Today

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