Well, if the Scots were able to have their King over the Water, why shouldn’t those of us of a Yorkist persuasion be allowed to celebrate the life of the last English king to die in battle? As we await the results of the DNA testing, fresh light is being shone on the life and times of the final Plantagenet king. There are few periods of English history that polarise opinion quite so strongly as the Wars of the Roses and in particular the reign of King Richard III that marked its final months. All too often, Richard is portrayed as either nephew murdering monster (Alison Weir) or virtual saint (the Richard III Society). Starting tomorrow, I’m going to try to present as balanced a view of Richard as I possibly can. Neither saint nor monster but a man of his time – a man placed in a terrible position by a combination of circumstances, bad luck and poor judgement.
In the first part I’ll look at the world into which Richard was born and the circumstances under which he grew up.