Saturday 17 March 2012

Richard Armitage & Richard III (6)

Saturday, March 17th

It's almost over, oh noes!
• In fandom, Phylly3 celebrates her second blogiversary!
• In the Hobbit chain, Antonia Romera compares trailers for An Unexpected Journey in three languages
• In fanfic, Jo Ann finishes her story
fedoralady traces the evolution of her "sloth fic" series
• In freeform, Gratiana Lovelace rescreens her Armitage birthday vid
Fabo casts Armitage in Hollywood musical remakes
C.S. Winchester takes on Armitage in period costumes from N&S and Miss Marie Lloyd

Links to all FanstRA 3 posts appear here at the end of each day.

King Richard Armitage - Tagged Post

Previous posts in the KRA-Taged line:

Tomorrow will follow: March 18th, 2012: Jo Ann (Cerridwen Speaks)

To visit the complete Link-List of the FanstRAvaganza-KRA-posts, go to the: FanstRAvaganza - KRA-Index page

Why King Richard III is such a worthy topic for our time

King Richard III lived at a very important time break, not only between the so called 'Middle Ages' and 'Modernity', but a break in many more aspects.
The New World was not discovered yet, though a very adventurous time was, where such discoveries were made possible by fast and monumentuous changes in 'technology', medicine, hygiene, navigation, wood work, discoveries regarding the human body, astronomy, and lots of scientific areas more.

But King Richard III is interesting in many more ways than for living at a 'timebreak'. In all this change and time of crisis, he also was a 'moral' king, who might be an example for our times in some way.

Far from getting into any kind of political debate here, one thing of our time is quite undisputed:

Those in power and those who can, use their power for their own gain,
not the well being of their employees, customers or subjects.

Only few are the proving exception to this rule.

I made a sport of it to ask people around me, whom (either in politics or a powerful position in the industry) they still trust.

After a long pause, the best I could get as answer was:
“XY is not as bad as the rest.”

Is that good? – Not really.

But now to my real topic and why I admire King Richard III and Richard Armitage for his interest in this very special king:

King Richard in my opinion still holds an important message for our present time.
The first thing he did, when he became king, was to call all judges to him (on the first day as King of England! – No time to celebrate, but right down to business and to what was important to him).

He emphasized the importance he put on unbiased and just judgments, not to be influenced by position, rank, connections or money.
The weight he put on a well balanced judgment was so great, that he acted with lenience towards his own enemies and the conspirators against him. He even was accused of being too mild by his contemporaries. Later researchers often saw his lenience as quite a major contribution to prepare his own downfall, as it did not prevent his enemies from further conspiring against him.

A clear decision in his own favour, a strict action like executions of all involved in a conspiracy, could have prevented much of the later happenings, but it would also have made King Richard III an ordinary king and leader, one of those we have too many anyway.
As it is, King Richard III should be remembered not as the ‘Hunchbacked king’, but as “The just and good King Richard III”.

Reading recommendation:
Jeremy Potter: Good King Richard? An Account of Richard III and His Reputation, London 1983

<<  Tomorrow, the historical debate about Mr. Armitage and history as well as FanstRAvaganza 3 as a whole come to an end here on this blog with results, what historical interest can tell us about the man himself.  >>

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  1. These are surprising statements about "Good King Richard." I wonder if this will ever make it into the public consciousness.

    1. Hello, bccmee.
      I doubt that King Richard III will ever be able to completely throw off the image Shakespeare created. The unfortunate thing about it is that Shakespeare was a really good writer and does deserve praise for other things, just not for his historic accurateness or reliability. He only wrote for the dramatic effect (and propaganda of the Tudors).
      I would at least like to see an effort made for King Richard III, where his person gets a well balanced approach. We are under no obligation to one-sidedly praise the Tudors, like Shakespeare was in his time.

  2. I can see I'm going to have to read more about RIII! You've ignited my interest :) After reading Daughter of Time, I was always of the opinion he was much maligned however. I need to dust off Sunne in Spledour which is beckoning me from my bookshelf !!

    1. Hello Mulubinba,
      That is a good effect ;o) Have an enjoyable read!

  3. OK, I'l be honest! I've studied British history and British Literature, love both, but haven't a clue about Richard III. I say this with shame. I've alays been more into the Tudors. I promise to get my hands on Richard III for Dummies so I can actually contribute to a discussion on the topic! One thing I have to give you C.Doart is you have peeked my interest and I can just tell that you are very passionate on the subject. That makes reading your posts fascinating, even for an ignorant person like myself ;)

    1. Thank you very much, iwanttobeapinup! You give me too much praise.
      The one professor who initially peaked my interest in King Richard III was not especial researching English or British history. He was specialised in the German Middle Ages and as a further topic, where we met, Venetian history. That is the reason, why I brought so much of it into my approach. This professor really held a deep affection for King Richard III.
      I hope, one day I will be able to learn the Venetian language to be able to read the original documents myself.

  4. Shakespeare was a poet and dramatist, who also had to keep his writing on the right side of a Tudor queen. Chroniclers of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, also had their vested interests (and heads to worry about :D ) Starting with Henry VII's pet propagandists, that snake Morton, through his acolyte, the sainted More, to Shakespeare,Richard III has, unfortunately, come to personify evil. (Olivier didn't help :) ) From all one reads of Richard's acts, legislative and military, this was a very fair-minded leader, caught in an utterly chaotic time. His weakness was in not gathering loyal Southern England magnates to him. In many ways, island England was in transition from medieval to Renaissance. If Richard had had the chance, perhaps he would have been able to further the transition. (Not that Italy did not continue to spill much blood during the period)



    1. Hello Fitzg,
      Thank you very much for this wonderful overview. I fully agree that King Richard did not really have much time as king to show what he could have achieved for England. For the short period he was king, his achievements already are impressive, though - as you say - the missing support of the magnates of Southern England really was a major hindrance.
      Thank you, Fitzg!