This is one of the few novels that have changed my mind about something (in this case whether Richard III murdered his nephews or not). It’s a slim book but I read it first time around in two sittings (and if I’d had more time at the time it would have been in one). The novel is written via the character of an injured Inspector Grant, stuck and bored in hospital, who is shown a picture of an intriguing face. It turns out to be King Richard and Grant goes on to investigate the mystery surrounding the Princes in the Tower. It’s a gripping tale and you may never look at Henry VII in the same way again. Try the book and see!
“It's an odd thing but when you tell someone the true facts of a mythical tale they are indignant not with the teller but with you. They don't want to have their ideas upset. It rouses some vague uneasiness in them, I think, and they resent it. So they reject it and refuse to think about it. If they were merely indifferent it would be natural and understandable. But it is much stronger than that, much more positive. They are annoyed.
Very odd, isn't it.”
Radio 4 Extra broadcast a reading of The Daughter of Time, backed by some beautiful classical music called The Princes in the Tower by Sir William Walton. The music is haunting and brings the reading to life. Also recommend reading Richard III: The Maligned King by Annette Carson.
THINGS TO PONDER
Guess which monarch brought in the beginnings of what we would know as bail? Guess what monarch outlawed jury tampering? Guess which monarch wanted proceedings, particularly in Parliament, conducted in English? Guess what monarch outlawed the forced marriage of heiresses, sadly a common practice at the time?
Yes - Richard III. All odd things to do for a "villain" I think.
Oh and guess what monarch backdated his reign by one day so he could grab the estates of those fighting for his enemy and have them executed for treason? Not popular at the time, it's a very dodgy act by today's standards. Guess who had the Act of Parliament setting out his enemy's claim to the throne in detail destroyed without being read (a copy was overlooked in the Tower of London which is why Titilus Regius is known about at all)?
Yes - Henry VII. All odd things for a "virtuous monarch" to do I think.