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Old 04-20-2019, 11:11 AM   #121
Catlady
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Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
Catlady, I have just had a hugely entertaining afternoon watching those videos of the trial that you found - thank you! The very best part was watching historian David Starkey, whom I have seen in more recent years pontificating about the Tudors on TV, being quite astoundingly rude and arrogant towards the lawyer for the defence.

The lawyer's handling of him, incredibly polite but getting his name wrong, and then at the end calling him Mr Starkey and being corrected that it was Dr Starkey, was a delight to watch.

It comes in the third section for anyone who wants to have a look. Highly recommended!
Glad you enjoyed the trial. I haven't watched yet, but it sounds like I should.
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:30 AM   #122
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Me too, and now I wonder if I’ve taken Tey all wrong? Making up your sources is a hanging offence in most contexts. But it’s perfectly legit in fiction. Maybe she just thought it would be fun topic for an novel, and was pretty casual about the research. She could be looking down highly amused to see people treat the novel like an academic paper.
I made a cursory look for Rose of Raby also and thought it might be this book:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...storical-novel

But I admit I didn't look into it! It was originally published in the late 18th century, so the language probably wouldn't have been the same as what appeared in the lengthy Tey quotes.
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:32 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by gmw View Post
Spoiler:

Elizabeth of York (Elizabeth Woodville's daughter) is seen to fall in love with Richard III and the two plan to marry (apparently there really were rumours to this effect at the time), and at the same time Henry Tudor is declaring he will marry her when he takes the throne - as agreed in private between Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort. (I guess royalty and incest go together to some extent, but Richard and his niece? Can the niece really overlook Richard usurping the crown from her brother? I'm having some trouble with that ... but "the past is a foreign country, they do things differently there" - thank you, L.P. Hartley.)
I don't think the information about Elizabeth of York is particularly spoilery, but I'll follow your lead:

Spoiler:
Weir devotes a chapter to Elizabeth's liaison with Richard III.
Quote:
By the end of 1484 it was clear that Queen Anne was a sick woman, unlikely to have any more children, and probably not long for this world. Elizabeth Wydville, following her usual pragmatic instincts, and having now abandoned her hopes of Henry Tudor, saw some advantage for her daughter and herself in this situation, for if Anne died, as seemed likely, the King would be expected to marry again in the hope of providing for the succession. In such circumstances, who better to mate with him than the Lady Elizabeth, regarded by many as the rightful heiress of the House of York? Marriage to her would place Richard III in an unassailable position: as husband of the woman many people regarded as the lawful Queen of England he would enjoy the unchallenged right to wear the crown. Elizabeth would be accorded her rightful rank and dignity and, even more to the point, Elizabeth Wydville could expect to be restored to power and influence as the mother of the Queen Regnant.
Weir says the relationship between Richard and Lady Elizabeth was both pragmatic and passionate. She also says:
Quote:
The King’s determination to marry his niece is virtual proof, if any were needed, that the precontract story on which his title was based was pure invention. Had it been true, Richard would not now have been contemplating the marriage to strengthen his position. His pursuit of Elizabeth was not only a tacit acknowledgement of the widespread recognition of her as the rightful queen, but also amounted to confirmation that the Princes were dead. Marriage to her would crush Henry Tudor’s pretensions once and for all, and it would hopefully silence the ever-present rumours about her brothers. It would stabilise Richard’s tenure of the throne, enlist the Wydvilles on the side of the Crown, and in every way make sound political sense.
Quote:
The fact that she [Elizabeth of York] could contemplate such a marriage shows her to have been as much of a pragmatist as her mother and confirms that her ambition to wear a crown was greater than her grief for brothers who might never have been close to her.
When the marriage to Richard didn't happen, Elizabeth turned against him and back to Henry Tudor, and finally got the crown she wanted.
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:38 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I made a cursory look for Rose of Raby also and thought it might be this book:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...storical-novel

But I admit I didn't look into it! It was originally published in the late 18th century, so the language probably wouldn't have been the same as what appeared in the lengthy Tey quotes.
I found a pdf at Internet Archive.

P.S. Wikipedia's article on Cecily Neville includes this line:

Quote:
An imaginary novel about Cecily entitled The Rose of Raby is discussed in Josephine Tey's 1951 novel The Daughter of Time.
So it seems that there's no actual connection to the one at Goodreads and IA.

Last edited by Catlady; 04-20-2019 at 11:42 AM. Reason: P.S.
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:51 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
I don't think the information about Elizabeth of York is particularly spoilery, but I'll follow your lead:
Thanks very much for that. I had not before come across anything about a relationship between Richard III and Elizabeth of York (or don't remember doing so), so I had included it in spoilers mainly because I thought it might be Gregory's imagination stretching rumour into tantalising story (as with some of the other elements I had in spoilers).

Given what you posted from Weir, confirming it wasn't just imaginings, I'm happy for this part to come out of spoilers. In particular I am fascinated by what Weir says about this relationship seeming to confirm that precontract evidence was a fiction. This family was a fickle bunch.
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Old 04-20-2019, 03:00 PM   #126
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Thanks very much for that. I had not before come across anything about a relationship between Richard III and Elizabeth of York (or don't remember doing so), so I had included it in spoilers mainly because I thought it might be Gregory's imagination stretching rumour into tantalising story (as with some of the other elements I had in spoilers).

Given what you posted from Weir, confirming it wasn't just imaginings, I'm happy for this part to come out of spoilers. In particular I am fascinated by what Weir says about this relationship seeming to confirm that precontract evidence was a fiction. This family was a fickle bunch.
Yes, that's the trouble with historical fiction. I appreciate it when an author adds a note at the end explaining what adheres to known facts and what is speculation or fudging--wish they all did so.

I think the Woodvilles weren't fickle as much as they were single-minded. They wanted the crown, and did whatever they had to do to get it, regardless of the cost. The princes were so much collateral damage.
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Old 04-20-2019, 05:01 PM   #127
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Ah, the joke's on us, perhaps. It is one reason why I'm not a big fan of fictionalised stuff like this - and like the Philippa Gregory book I'm reading now - unless you're an expert in the field you don't know where the author parted ways with reality.
Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall” is often criticised in academic circles for the same reason. It’s a fictionalised account of the life of Thomas Cromwell, but the reading public takes it to be “history”, which it isn’t.
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Old 04-20-2019, 06:25 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I made a cursory look for Rose of Raby also and thought it might be this book:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...storical-novel

But I admit I didn't look into it! It was originally published in the late 18th century, so the language probably wouldn't have been the same as what appeared in the lengthy Tey quotes.
Tey gives the author as the non-existent Evelyn Payne-Ellis, so not that one. Nice try issybird!
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Old 04-20-2019, 06:35 PM   #129
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Goodreads has reminded me that many years ago I read a fiction book which told the story from the Woodville family's perspective. It was written in a format that alternates between present and past (Una is the modern made-up character). I don't remember much about this book and apparently I gave it two stars, but here's the info anyway.

From Goodreads A Secret Alchemy by Emma Darwin:
Quote:
The cruel fate of the Princes in the Tower is one of the most fascinating—and most troubling—of all England's historical murder mysteries. But what was the truth behind the deaths of the young Edward V and his brother, Dickon, taken from their mother, Elizabeth Woodville, King Edward IV's beautiful widow, and their guardian, Anthony Woodville? And what about the man who would become King Richard III?

In a brilliant feat of historical daring, the acclaimed author of The Mathematics of Love reimagines the tragedy of the youngest victims of the Wars of the Roses. Through the voices of Elizabeth, Anthony, and Una—a historian who herself knows grief, betrayal, and secret love—Emma Darwin re-creates the lethal power struggles into which the boys were born, their heart-wrenching imprisonment, and the ultimate betrayal of their innocence.

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Old 04-22-2019, 10:04 AM   #130
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Glad you enjoyed the trial. I haven't watched yet, but it sounds like I should.
I've only had enough time to watch part of the first one. I hope to watch the rest when I can too.
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:09 AM   #131
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I feel a bit silly writing pages of notes, factchecking & refuting fictional sources I guess that’s what I get for taking myself too seriously!

But you raise a very interesting point. What did historians think at the time of the publication? I’ve been trying to find some comment on that, but haven’t found anything far.

However, in looking, I came across a short article that I thought was interesting. The author offers a very factual defence against the notion that Henry IV killed the princes. I found it quite persuasive. The comments are interesting too - some of the people who commented favourably on article are published authors from reputable sources.

I don’t want to flog a dead horse, but in case anyone is interested the link is https://nathenamin.com/2012/09/13/th...for-henry-vii/
Thanks for the link it does look interesting.
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:22 AM   #132
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The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. I figure it's appropriate (or not too inappropriate) to offer my review of it here, as part of our discussion of the historical mystery.

Gregory freely admits, in the acknowledgements at the back, "There is more fiction in this novel than in my previous ones, since we are further back in time than the Tudors, and the record is more patchy. Also, this was a country at war and many decisions were taken on the spot, leaving no documentary record." And I note that Gregory has been criticised for taking liberties even with the Tudors.

My first comment is: My goodness, couldn't anyone back then come up with names other than Edward, Richard, George, Elizabeth and Margaret? Keeping track of them all is a work in itself.

The book ends quite abruptly: Henry Tudor has just landed with his army, and Richard III is going out to meet him; Bosworth Field is still to happen. It is also rather less than definite about the princes in the tower than I thought it might be - but maybe that was for the best.

The following is in spoilers in case people wanting to read this would rather not know specific details imagined in the book:
Spoiler:
Gregory has it that:

When Richard III sends emissaries to meet with Elizabeth Woodville in sanctuary, requesting that she release her young son Richard to join her son Edward in the Tower (at this point the coronation is supposedly still on and young Richard is invited to witness it) she instead sends a pageboy that she and her eldest daughter have been training for the part. Her real son Richard she sends off into hiding in Flanders - the name Perkin is mentioned as a nickname (this appears to be based on possibilities suggested by historian David Baldwin).

There is strong suggestion that Richard III is unlikely to have killed Edward V (although I remain unconvinced) - and indeed the story has him deny such an act to Elizabeth, claiming he didn't need to kill them (yeah, yeah, like that ever stopped any of this blood-thirsty bunch). It is suggested that either the Duke of Buckingham and/or Margaret Beaufort had good reason to kill the boys; that, while pretending to collaborate with Elizabeth Woodville against Richard III, they were in fact preparing the way for their own plans (Buckingham for himself, Beaufort for her son).

The fact that the boys disappearance sort of melted into the background and never raises a big stir is explained quite well. Because of everything else going on, it took a long time for their disappearance to be confirmed - and even then each party assumed one of the other parties had take the boys off somewhere. By the time it seemed certain that they must be dead, most of the relevant decisions had already been made. (Whether the timing is exactly as described in this book is, I think, open to question, but it works well as presented.)

Elizabeth of York (Elizabeth Woodville's daughter) is seen to fall in love with Richard III and the two plan to marry (apparently there really were rumours to this effect at the time), and at the same time Henry Tudor is declaring he will marry her when he takes the throne - as agreed in private between Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort. (I guess royalty and incest go together to some extent, but Richard and his niece? Can the niece really overlook Richard usurping the crown from her brother? I'm having some trouble with that ... but "the past is a foreign country, they do things differently there" - thank you, L.P. Hartley.)


The book has various little bits of magic - the Elizabeth Woodville's mother is Jacquetta of Luxembourg whose family claims to be descended from a water deity named Melusine. I think these parts are very neatly handled; the magic is suggested but could as well be coincidence, so the idea of witchcraft - rumoured at the time - is given a sort of credence without turning the book into a complete fantasy.

What I particularly liked in the book was the suggestion - without it ever really saying - that Richard's grab for the throne might never have happened if he and Elizabeth Woodville had been able to trust one another. All the evidence, even in this story, was that Richard III was truly loyal to his brother Edward IV. Edward had asked Richard to be Lord Protector, but Elizabeth Woodville made it impossible for Richard to do this peaceably. She effectively pushed him into claiming the throne or forfeiting his power completely. Whether he actually killed the boys is almost incidental.

So Gregory's account, while not completely convincing, and not answering everything, I thought did a good job of describing the situation in what felt like a fairly realistic manner. It reservedly supports the Tey/Grant hypothesis that Richard III was not guilty, and may even have been a good guy, while offering various alternative explanations. And while the book was told (mostly) in the first-person from Elizabeth Woodville's perspective, I thought it did a clever job of showing where Woodville was being hypocritical (when something was desperately unfair to her, but should be expected as the fortunes of war when happened to others, and that sort of thing).

I don't think I'm up for the whole collection, but overall I liked this book. It is an entertaining way to view this part of history.
I just started " White Queen " last night . I'm enjoying it , The magic parts are intriguing . Richard used it to discredit Queen Elizabeth, especially effective during that period of religious fervor. Also the amazing coincidence of the DNA sample is of a present day descendant of the Elizabeth Woodville's mother Jakatta Luxembourg the so called witch.
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Old 04-22-2019, 12:06 PM   #133
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I have an Audible version of The White Queen, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. Must move it up the queue.
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Old 04-22-2019, 05:53 PM   #134
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I have an Audible version of The White Queen, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. Must move it up the queue.
I'm reading the ebook version, it really does bring Elizabeth Woodville to life. Also King Edward lV. I hope you enjoy the audio version as well.
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:47 PM   #135
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Elizabeth Woodville is in today's news. A recently unearthed letter suggests she died of the plague.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...onal-archives?
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