The Mythology of Richard III

The Mythology of Richard III

by John Ashdown-Hill


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Richard III. The name will conjure an image for any reader: Shakespeare’s hunchback tyrant who killed his own nephews or a long-denigrated, misunderstood king. This one man’s character and actions have divided historians and the controversy has always kept interest in Richard alive. However, curiosity surrounding his life and death has reached unprecedented heights in the aftermath of the discovery of his skeleton under a Leicester car park.The myths that have always swirled around Richard III have risen and multiplied and it is time to set the record straight. John Ashdown-Hill, whose research was instrumental in the discovery of Richard III’s remains, explores and unravels the web of myths in this fascinating book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781445660103
Publisher: Amberley Publishing
Publication date: 09/28/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

John Ashdown-Hill is a historian, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a member of the Society of Genealogists, the Richard III Society and the Centre Européen d’Études Bourguignonnes. He was Leader of Genealogical Research and Historical Advisor for the Looking for Richard Project and is the author of The Last Days of Richard III, the book that inspired the dig. John lives near Colchester in Essex.

Table of Contents

Introduction 7

Part 1 The Geography of Richard III 13

1 York - or Leicester - or …? 14

Part 2 The Path to the Throne 19

2 Richard, the Abnormal Prince 20

3 Sorcery and the Supernatural 29

4 Richard, the Serial Killer 39

Part 3 Richard's Religion 61

5 Catholic or Anglican? 62

Part 4 The Monster King 73

6 Richard, the Usurper 74

7 Richard, the Tyrant 86

8 Marriage Mythology 91

Part 5 Legends of Richard's Last Days 109

9 The Inn and the Bed 110

10 The White Horse and the Sleepless Night 118

11 The Last Mass and the Last Battle 123

Part 6 Richard Ill's Dead Body 129

12 Burial Myths 130

13 The Body in the River 137

14 The Mythology of Rediscovery 142

15 The DNA Link 148

Part 7 Kudos, Fantasies and Profit 153

16 The post-2012 Leicester Edition of Richard III 154

17 Images 161

18 The Tourist Trade 165

Conclusions 169

Appendix 1 Potential candidates for identity with the Leicester Greyfriars bones 173

Appendix 2 The Plantagenet Y-chromosome (email correspondence between the author and Dr Turi King of the University of Leicester, September 2012) 179

Appendix 3 Suggested amendments proposed by the Looking For Richard Project Team to the article The King in the Car Park', as published in the journal Antiquity 182

Appendix 4 Correspondence with the editor of Antiquity regarding the amendments proposed in Appendix 3 (above) 185

Appendix 5 Misleading interpretations from Leicester 186

Appendix 6 A comparison of the frequency of Edward IV's visits to Leicester Castle and Nottingham Castle 188

Notes 195

Acknowledgements 213

Bibliography 214

List of Illustrations 221

Index 224

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