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I've just read Philippa Gregory's The Kingmaker's Daughter, the fourth in her series on The Wars of the Roses from the women's points of view. I enjoyed this one the most because it's more sympathetic to Richard of Gloucester, later Richard the Third. It's told from the point of view of Anne Neville, the second daughter of Warwick the Kingmaker, briefly wife to Henry VI's son Edward and then wife to Richard of Gloucester. While Gregory is sympathetic to Richard she doesn't attempt to whitewash him but presents him as a man of his time and she shows his good points. The most disturbing issue that she brings up in her series is his alleged seduction of his niece Elizabeth.

Philippa Gregory has posted her thoughts on the discovery of Richard the Third's remains, in which she writes "but those of us who cannot help but admire Richard," clearly showing her sympathies. This makes her achievement in writing her three other books in the series from the point of view of Richard's enemies rather remarkable to me. I thought that she as an author loathed Richard.

I'm looking forward to seeing, if my magic website works, the BBC's The White Queen that is based on Gregory's books. This photo shows the three York brothers: David Oakes as George of Clarence, Max Irons as Edward IV and Aneurin Barnard as Richard of Gloucester.


I like David Oakes but he unfortunately seems to be getting typecast as a psychotic character.
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The University of Leicester has announced that the skeleton found in Leicester on the site of Grey Friars church is that of Richard the Third  "beyond reasonable doubt."

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Richard the Third; he was undoubtedly much maligned by the Tudors. Whether he had his two nephews killed I don't know. I find it strange that he is so perpetually vilified but King John, who definitely had his nephew killed and may well have killed him by his own hands, doesn't get much attention.


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May 2016

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