Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Richard III and York

The latest edition of The National Trust Magazine contains an article about York - unfortunately it's marred by the following statement:-

'Richard III's bloody antics have been recounted by Shakespeare, as well as in the mocking nursery rhyme 'The Grand Old Duke of York'. Some say that the wicked king's body now lies under a city car park.'

OK, where do I start?

For the nth time, Shakespeare was a dramatist, not a historian. If you're going to quote fiction about Richard, why not the Sunne in Splendor? Or Alianore Audley?

That nursery rhyme was about an 18th Century Duke of York, son of one of the Georges. A clue to it not relating to Richard III is that Richard was never Duke of York.

Richard was not an outstandingly wicked king by medieval standards. Far from it. If there was one place he was positively loved it was York.

His body may lie under a car park, but if it does it's in Leicester, not York.

Makes me wonder why the Richard III Society bothers... (Mutter, mutter.)

3 comments:

Lynn Irwin Stewart said...

Well, it sounds like somebody needs to write to the The National Trust Magazine and set them straight. Brian?!

Brian said...

Already done, Lynn. I copied my e-letter to the R3 Society and understand that several others, including the Chairman, have beaten me to it.

Lady D. said...

Well done Brian - you can't let them get away with such utter tosh! They are obviously using some PR firm without a clue to write their blurbs!