Saturday, March 17, 2012

King Richard's Greatest Sin

Wow this is the last day!! it's over!  what ever shall I do now!
okay I'll put Scarlet O'Hara to sleep and get on with the goodies

We’re in Day Seven of the FanstRAvaganza 3  and I have switched from fanfic to Richard III  tagteam chain! If you missed  yesterday's post go back and check out
Or as in my case go back and start at the beginning as my rehearsal schedule and writing kept me from reading everything.

We will more than likely never know who was responsible for the princes in the tower butI have my theories.
Maybe it wasn't Richard's sin at all.

Richard Armitage’s fan base is wide and growing wider still but not just for his looks, We the hardcore RA Lovers know the deeper side of the man and he continues to provide glimpses into his mind and soul. That is what makes him so great.

When I was asked about contributing to FanstRAvaganza I wasn’t sure what I would come up with. After some thought I asked an acquaintance who had actually had the pleasure of working with Richard Armitage if she would talk about the experience but she wasn’t sure if she was free (legally) to do that and being in the midst of more than several projects I did not have the time to go looking into getting the permissions, I therefore went with my plan B.
Okay so I really didn't have a plan B but it sounded good.

All of us RA fandom know how deeply committed Richard is in the redemption of King Richard III’s reputation. The root of this image of a hideous, deformed and malicious King Richard clearly came about due to the immediate need for Henry Tudor (Henry VII) to secure his place on the throne. When I had received the invitation to provide a post for this event I had just recently watched on DVD an old series from 1972 called The Shadow of the Tower: Rise of the Tudor Dynasty, on the 4th disc, aside from the show itself, were a couple of special features one of which was a very interesting look into the details/mystery of the battle of Bosworth and the story of how Henry Tudor triumphed over Richard. Which prompted me to look deeper and over time will go deeper still.

Tudor propaganda indeed! Assuming that the show at least kept part of the script true to history, King Henry had quite a bit more than just a little motive to make Richard, or The Usurper as they called him, appear to be a great monster. Reason number one being that Richard’s claim to the throne was a lot more legitimate than his.

And what of the princes in the tower, Richard’s greatest sin? In the show this tragedy is mentioned several times however I got the feeling that if those boys had been alive when Richard died and Henry seized the crown, they would not have been around too much longer under Henry VII. I very much believe they would have been part of the same or a similar plan woven by Henry to rid himself of the Earl of Warwick, who was also a contender for the throne though the boys would have come first.

The Earl was taken to the tower as a child. Under pressure from the French (in regards to Catherine marrying Arthur) Henry was urged to destroy all possible threats to the throne. By this time the Earl was an adult so to avoid repercussion for killing an heir to the throne the King then arranged an elaborate escape plan so the Earl could then be caught and charged for treason. As escaping the King’s prison was treason. The boys would have died in the tower either way.

Under Richard’s rule, as shocking as it may have been, they were dealt with quickly. If they had made it to Henry’s rule they would have been prisoners for years with no hope of being freed. There of course is another prospect for the demise of the two princes that would render Glouster totally innocent of the crime. One that a couple of those professors on the DVD brought up. The idea that it was Henry, or at least one of his supporters, who saw to it that there was no one with a stronger, more immediate, claim to the throne once Richard was dead. The oldest of the boys would instantly be proclaimed king if Richard died and Henry would never see the crown on his head. Of course he would have to be rid of both boys as the younger could step up if the elder met with misfortune. With them out of the way there would be nothing to stop the Tudors from gaining the throne, even though the Earl, also a child of 9 or10 at the time, was in line behind the princes his claim would not have been as readily substantiated as the princes’.

Researching into Richard of Glouster’s past to find out who he real was has been very interesting, and can easily turn into an obsession,(kinda like RA himself.)but one also should look forward a few years after his death. Looking into the man, and his court, that usurped the usurper gives even more insight into Richard the man. Many of the things the first Tudor accomplished were built on the foundations that Richard’s reign provided. The more I discover about this supposedly monstrous king the more excited I get about some day, soon I hope, seeing our dear Richard Armitage bring this man to life. In the same manor those cute little Russian dolls Richard Armitage has a multitude of personalities stack up with himself and one of those, peeking playfully out through those big blue eyes, is a Richard of Glouster.

I recommend getting your hands on the series The Shadow of the Tower: Rise of the Tudor Dynasty,(found it on Netflix). Though it’s a little dated, listening to these Professor’s discuss this subject was absolutely fascinating. I only wish the extras had been longer I could have watched all day. Other books to read are “The White Queen” and “The Red Queen” both by Phillipa Gregory as well as “Sunne in Splendour” by Sharon Kay Penmen, which I know many of you have already read, and the Rose of York Series by Sandra Worth.

all this brings another question - Why didn't shakespeare write about Henry VII?
He skipped him - how come?

Thank you to all who wrote, read, posted, and pasted, ect. thanks to those who read my fanfic- Surrender My Heart- if you haven't yet drop back in another time cuz there are really cool pics of RA in the wild west..

Hope ya'll had a great time with FanstRAvaganza 3-
 but I am in a Shakespeare play that opens next week so busy busy I must be TTFN (TaTa for now)- as Tigger would say!!!!until next year  bye-bye


  1. Hi Jo,
    Intriguing possibilities for redeeming KR3.
    Cheers! Grati ;->

  2. Maybe there was no money in Henry VII! ;)

  3. The BBC did do a dramatisation of Henry VII - I think this is the one to which Jo Ann referred.The Tudors were not an attractive proposition. Though Henry (Beaufort) Tudor put the kingdom back on a firm financial base, after systematically murdering every last Plantagenet...And his bullyboy son proceeded to spend it. :D Shakespeare had to be careful about any portrayal of a Tudor. Elizabeth was a bit sensitive. Terrific post, Jo Ann!


    1. that was me guess too. Either that or no one was interested in hearing about him. =^)

  4. Hello - enormously intriguing and excellent post.

    Thank you for the doc recommendation. I'm going to add to my Netflix queue today. Being an Armitage fan is a wonderful educational experience.

    I really think there's so much we don't know, because so many of us grew up with Shakespeare's portrait of Richard III as the truth. (Especially some of us outside the UK). Shakespeare of course was not a historian and was writing a play that would attract an audience and would be meaty for the actors, and what better than a good villain. Hopefully Richard's plan will become reality.