Archive | February 19, 2019

Too many Richards*

*that’s not a euphemism.

There are also too many Edwards, Edmunds and Henrys (and many of them are Richards by nature – and that is a euphemism) in my current obsession: Wars of the Roses.

It all started with my first Philippa Gregory novel, The Lady of the Rivers. (Just as my Ned obsession started with a novel.)

Then I read the next book.

Then found the TV series on DVD based on the two Gregory books. Oh, and the fabulous, must-see, BBC series The Hollow Crown. Series 1 is Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 and Henry V. Series 2 is the Wars of the Roses with Henry VI Parts 1, 2 and 3 and Richard III. Absolutely brilliant.

And then I borrowed some non-fiction, including one with contribution by Philippa Gregory.

More non-fiction followed.

I bought a T-shirt on my recent cruise trip because it had a red rose on it. (Although I am a Yorkist, so white rose is really the one for me.)

Mr S bought me a piece of costume jewellery, a bracelet with charms from the novels.

I’ve found a tour I want to go on when we go to the UK.

But you know, there’s just too many people with too few names. I found the same problem when reading Wolf Hall, except then it was Thomas and Henry.

To complicate the matter, they nearly all have other names, their Lord of or Earl of name; their nickname; and worse, their duke of name AND their earl of name AND the name they took after they became king.

This year I am going to see one of the oldest English crowns, that of Margaret of York, sister the first Yorkist king. The crown is in Ă„achen. (The other oldest surviving crown is also in Germany.)

Back to all the Richards. Look at this paragraph. The York who is worried, is Richard, Duke of York. And his allies, share the same first and last name. I mean really?!?

But I can beat that. On another page they mentioned four Richards, all of whom also have other names: the two Richard Nevilles, Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury and his son Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, also called the Kingmaker; Richard, Duke of York; and Richard Woodville, Lord Rivers.

But what would an obsession be if there weren’t things to fume over?

And who knew it was the Wars of the Roses not the War of the Roses? I mean the Hundred Years War is called one war, yet these skirmishes are given the “honorific” of wars.