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April 2017

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bring me that horizon

What kind of weird person am I, when the most exciting thing in my life, for a long time, is that the bones of Richard III were discovered?


You're not alone. Katie was told about this by a friend of hers back in September (?) when the skeleton was originally found, and immediately called me up, saying, "MamaMamaMama, guess what??" *g* So when I heard the news that the bones had been definitely identified, I called her up, saying, "KatieKatieKatie, guess what??" We were fairly bouncing, and had a loooong conversation about the geneology of the British monarchy and Richard III's part in it. Yeah, geeks. You're in good company. *hugs*
I believe it was September, yes. I wish I'd known! I am assuming that two such rational and intelligent persons as you and Katie are in the "Richard was not a murdering villain" club?

And I am in good company. I know it, and I'm quite happy about it. :)
Katie and I don't know all that much about Richard III (her friend is the expert, and she is definitely in the "Richard was not a murdering villain" club!). Katie is more familiar with British history before Richard III's time, and I am more familiar with it after Richard III's time. However, we found this to be very exciting all the same, and it will probably prompt me to learn more about Richard.

Do you have a theory about what happened to the Princes in the Tower?
ARGH. I just wrote a long reply to this and lost it. When when when will I learn to reply in another program, offline, if I'm going to do a dissertation??

Anyway, here's approximately what I said.

I have only the most vague theory of the fate of the princes. I believe they died - I simply cannot see how two children, not in their infancy, in that political climate, could have been kept alive without being discovered or revealing themselves. I also believe that Richard knew their fate - my sentimental thought is to hope that he didn't order it, but if not, he must have contrived at covering it up. I don't think they died in the Tower, because the mystery is so popular that someone, sometime, would have discovered the remains. I suppose they could have been killed there and carried out, but that would have been risky. If I were writing a book about this, I would say that they were lured out on a pretext, say, having an adventure or going to secretly visit someone they wanted to see. Then I would have written that they were taken to a place where the bodies could be hidden, because if I were the person going to kill them, if I got caught, I'd rather have live princes on my hands than corpses. Once they were safely away, I'd write that they were killed and buried in some remote place, perhaps in Scotland, or killed, weighted, and thrown from a boat. The boat would be a small one, not a ship, because the participation in this crime had to be minimal and rigidly protected. There was a storm of interest in the boys at the time, after all, and other royal murders were solved and the perpetrators punished (or rewarded), but this one never was. Therefore I'd say that only one person, completely loyal to Richard, did the crime, or did it for Richard and was protected.

Although I'm a Richard supporter and hate to say it, common sense tells me he conspired somehow in this disappearance. Common sense made me a Richard supporter in the first place, in fact. Whenever I hear something in the press (which in Richard's case was Sir Thomas More and Mr. Shakespeare) that sounds wild, I put it through my own personal reality check. I ask myself, "Does this fit with the person's past behavior and what we know about him and his actions? Does it make sense in the context of the big picture around this person?" In Richard's case, the Shakespearian villain, as much fun as he was, did not fit the Richard of history, who was a loyal brother and intelligent, competent, courageous military leader.

On the other hand, the princes are another story. Whenever there is controversy over a throne, the existing ruler can't afford to have pretenders to the throne, especially viable pretenders. Even if the pretenders are completely unlikely, men unhappy with the current ruler will use the pretender as a rally point for rebellion. Mary Queen of Scots and Richard II leap to mind as obvious examples of this process, but there are many others. Richard was politically savvy and a realist (or so his acts tell me), so he wouldn't have allowed sentiment about his nephews to be allowed to foment civil war. He was sentimental enough, I think, to have at least tried to keep them alive, but his sentimental side seems to have been restricted to his brother Edward, his wife Anne, and his illegitimate son. About others he seemed to have been more practical, and he had no love for the Woodvilles, who were already trying to rebel with the boys as a figurehead. Therefore, I do believe, reluctantly, that he conspired to make them disappear and perhaps even die.

So there are my thoughts, for what they're worth!
I'm going to answer this via email, since it's getting to be too long a conversation to keep up on LJ. I'll send it to the regular one we use (fantasykat) - and I'm only saying that because I don't know how regularly you check that one these days. If you don't hear from me, don't think I forgot - just give me a little time. ;)
OK, I'm going there to check right now. (I've been sick for the last two days.) But just in case anyone else is reading this, I'm going to remark that I re-read some stuff about Richard, and I realized that, for some reason, I had totally forgotten that the most obvious and likely scenario is that Henry VII killed them!