Thursday, 12 February 2009

In Memory of Geoffrey Richardson

It's quite a shock to realise that this coming May it will be six years since Geoffrey Richardson left us. I 'met' him through the old Late Medieval Britain discussion group (another sad loss!) and although we subsequently 'came together' on only two occasions (inevitably once at Sheriff Hutton, the other at Middleham) we quite regularly chewed things over in personal e-mails.

Geoffrey was a man of very pronounced opinions - not only with regards to Richard III - and not everyone got on with him. I suspect some were put off with his northern bluntness, which could be extremely blunt. He didn't suffer fools gladly, as they say. However, when you met him face-to-face what struck you was the incredible warmth of his nature. After five minutes talk I felt I had known him all my life. As a friend he was beyond price and I miss those chats we used to have.

Geoffrey believed that in historical matters it was sometimes necessary to have 'a leap of faith' in order to reach firm conclusions about events. I'm inclined to agree with him - if firm conclusions are what you want - and it seems to me that academic historians have 'leaps of faith' on a regular basis. It's just that they're not so frank about it as Geoffrey was.

For many Geoffrey's works were either a first step in history, or the first step after historical fiction for people who wanted to know more about the fifteenth century. They were written in a very accessible style and very much from a Yorkist/Ricardian viewpoint. Several are still available through Amazon UK at this time including The Deceivers, The Popinjays and A Pride of Bastards. Sadly though they are not as freely available as they once were, and some of the prices quoted suggest that certain titles are 'sought-after'!

The Real Richard III site is still maintained by Trivium Publishing LLC as a tribute to Geoffrey and you will find on there many memories of Geoffrey and one or two articles that he wrote.

1 comment:

Doubtful Muse said...

He was a lovely man and much missed by many, including me.

p.s. I owe you an email (about the short story) and I have not forgot. I'm still mulling over what to do about all that.