Richard III was a “great king” who achieved more than the Elizabeths and Henry V says screenwriter

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Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Great Lives, Langley said Richard III was “most certainly” a great king who wanted to “make life fairer and more bearable” for ordinary people.

Speaking to presenter Matthew Parris alongside Richard III biographer Annette Carson, Langley said: “History is written by the winners. When Richard died on the field of Bosworth [in 1485] a new dynasty was born, and that dynasty had to legitimise itself. And by doing that it had to denigrate Richard, in a sense, because it had to show them as being the new choice…

“He’s been trashed I think, definitely, and then Shakespeare of course comes along in the Tudor era, so we have the popular perception of Richard as the archetypal evil villain. [We have] plays based on [the work of] Thomas More [chancellor in the reign of Henry VIII, who in around 1515 wrote The History of Richard III, which established Richard’s reputation as a tyrant], and then many of the subsequent writers and historians believe that Thomas More is a credible source and a credible witness.

“So, it’s an amalgamation of those three very powerful things that really wrote Richard’s story off completely.”

Read entire article at History Extra

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