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Richard III for Dummies Part 1 meaning a quick introduction

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m on a quest to learn more about King Richard III.

I hope it will help with the collective reading of Sharon Kay Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t really know anything about Richard III, but what I do learn, I will share in a cycle of posts titled:

Richard III for Dummies.

I see it as a collection of random RIII facts that I found interesting.

I won’t be going into great details, just the bare essentials (according to me!).

Visuals really work for me.

They are an endless source of inspiration, and there’s nothing like an image to spark my interest.

Sorry, but this does nothing for me:

I’ve never been a fan of a man with blingbling, and the hair’s just daft!

This illustration by Martin Rowson/Guardian is a whole other story:

The hair is still daft, but from what I gather, maybe this Richard III character will offer something interesting.

Here is a quick look at the more interesting facts about Richard III, served tongue in cheek, AgzyM style 😉



Nope, that doesn’t mean anything to me either, so here’s a visual:

Doesn’t British History look better when there’s a Tudor around?

Well, unless you happen to be Henry’s wife…

Why should I bother with Richard III?

Richard Armitage likes him, and so should you!

OK, only joking… kinda…

Richard III seems to have a murderous streak in him, as he’s implicated in the deaths of Henry VI, his brother George (who allegedly drowned in a vat of wine after a stint at the Tower of London)  and the disappearance of his young nephews – the Princes in the Tower.

I simply love a bloody monarch 🙂

Sorry, I forgot to add allegedly bloody…

He’s rumoured to have had a withered arm, crooked back and a limp, although many believe this to be a fabrication.

One thing’s for sure- he wasn’t a fan of facelift and Botox!

Also, the man clearly loved his jewels, so he may be the original Royal Pimp Daddy 😉

Richard is credited with introducing the bail system in 1484, perhaps to give himself a get out of jail free card if things got out of hand with Henry Tudor.

This may be linked to Monopoly’s Get Out of Jail Free Card, although the evidence is inconclusive 😉

By the way, Richard III described Henry Tudor as ‘an unknown Welshman’, which is a bit embarrassing seeing how things worked out…

Richard was the last king to die in battle, meaning the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, which is a bit unlucky!

Apparently every English King called “Richard” has died violently, which is a good reason to name your son and heir Bob or Rupert.

King Richard’s violent death may be why Armitage would like to play him…

 His death at the Battle of Bosworth effectively ended the Wars of the Roses (not a battle between gardeners!), so it’s not all bad news.

Richard was the last king of the Plantagenet family, who had ruled over England for more than three hundred years, so more bad news.

Talk about not living up to your family’s expectations!

Richard’s defeat at Bosworth Field by Henry Tudor ended the Plantagenet dynasty (bummer!), but it also heralded the Tudor dynasty, so some more good news, as I actually know a thing or two about the Tudors.

Have I mentioned how much I like the Tudors?

No? Well, I do!

 William Shakespeare wrote a play titled ‘Richard III’.

You may think that’d it is cool for the most famous playwriter to write about you, but not so.

He was portrayed as a murdered and deformed hunchback who murders his nephews, as Shakespeare was writing at a time when the granddaughter to Henry VII was queen (Elizabeth I).

It was therefore within Shakespeare’s interests to portray Richard in a bad light.

That Shakespeare was such a suck-up!

Shakespeare wasn’t the only famous author to weigh in on the topic od Richard III.

Jane Austin in her History of England wrote:

The character of this prince has been in general very severely treated by historians, but as he was York, I am rather inclined to  suppose him a very respectable man.

My thoughts exactly on Mr Darcy…

Nude pictures of him cupping his family jewels at a party in Las Vegas have spread across the internet.

OK, that may have been Prince Harry…

At this point I must also urge you to get started on Sharon Kay Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour.

Here are a few facts I found online about the book:

The Sunne in Splendour, which is a historical novel, chronicles the life of Richard III.

The story begins in 1459 with Richard as a young boy, and ends in 1485 with his defeat at the Battle of Bosworth Field.

It’s separated into three parts.

The title of the novel, according to Vulpes Libris, is taken from the emblem of Edward IV after the natural phenomenon of a parhelion (an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun) in which ice crystals in the air give the optical illusion of 3 suns.

When the 400-page manuscript was stolen from her car, Penman found herself unable to write for the next five years.

She eventually rewrote the book and by the time the 936 page book was published in 1982 she had spent 12 years writing it.

For more info, I urge you to check out what Maria Grazia has to say about the book.

By the way, I’ll be back tomorrow with a riveting (don’t hold your breath…) post on the War of the Roses, dummy style!

I’m off to read the book 😉

About Agzy The Ripper

Sew, Rip, Repeat... and love each moment of it! Join me as I embark on a myriad of sewing and crafting shenanigans.

9 responses »

  1. Considering my poor knowledge of British history and complete ignorance about Richard III, I guess you wrote this post specially for me… LOL

    • LOL! You need to get in line reagrding ignorance of Richard III! I think there’s quite a few of us around! What’s surprising (or mayb not so much…) is that the story of that era is quite fascinating, and I understand why it could’ve caught the attention of Mr Armitage 😉

  2. Fantastic! I never would have dreamed this accompaniment to the group read.
    Just want to clarify something so we don’t confuse readers. I choose to list the start of reading to keep track of chapters, with discussion to follow the week after.
    The announcement this early gives people time to get their hands on the book and gives a headstart. It’s up to you but I guess you could go either way with posting a dummies chapter: announcing who we will meet the next 5 chapters OR summarizing after 🙂

  3. Wow, that were quite a heap of impressive information. Agzy you obviously worked yourself smoothly into the topic on hand. BTW still not so convinced about the Tudors and whether they looked better, at least not during their lifetime and not having Jonathan Rhys Meyers as a stand-in!! (Have only seen short excerpts of the „Tudors“ and never felt the urge to see more. I’m not as blood-thirsty as you are Agzy!! Ha, Ha!! 😉
    More dummies sound like a great idea and a good laugh!!
    I’m still not sure if I can manage to participate in the reading. I’ve ordered the book a couple of months ago but it somehow vanished in the world-wide-orbit-of my „not so oversized“ small flat….. Momentarily I’m at a loss where else to look……:-(

    • Thanks Linda. I am enjoying the Dummy process, me being the biggest of them all! The Tudors are more famous, but I’ll tell you, that bunch of Roses is nothing to sniffle at either 😉
      I really hope that people will participate in the collective reading, but it’s enough to start reading the book. It really is well written and tells a fascinating tale.
      I know how frustrating it is when things disappear. I prepared all 3 parts of Children of Dune to watch this past weekend. Gone. No idea where it is! So annoying!

  4. I feel like you wrote this for me, starting university next week and we’re reading Shakespeare’s Richard III :’)

  5. Pingback: Hello Ladies, meet Gary! « I Want to be a Pin Up

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