Richard III, the so-called 'last English King of England' and the wicked uncle of tradition, is the most controversial and enigmatic of monarchs. Could he really have been as sinister as he was painted by Tudor chroniclers and, if he wasn't, why do some historians go on saying that he was? Why is his enlightened legislation so little noticed? Is there any real evidence that he murdered his nephews, the princes in the Tower? Did he really have a hunchback or was it invented for him after his death as 'proof of villainy'? Is Shakespeare's Richard III a portrayal of the real Richard or no more than a character in a work of fiction? Was St Thomas More really a witness of truth? Good King Richard? Is an account of Richard III's life and times, character, appearance and reign, but above all, of the Great Debate which has raged since his death between traditionalists and revisionists. First published in 1983, to mark the 500th anniversary of his accession to the throne, Jeremy Potter's Good King Richard? is a history of his reputation from 1483 to 1983. Jeremy Potter was Chairman of the Richard III Society from 1971 until 1989. The 2014 Bloomsbury Reader edition of Good King Richard? is introduced by Peter and Carolyn Hammond from Richard III Society who discuss Jeremy Potter's account in the light of the recent archaeological discoveries of Richard's skeleton, and the location of the battlefield on which Bosworth was fought. "This book, Good King Richard?, is not a biography but is a discussion of the ebb and flow of Richard III's reputation, both in the academic world and in popular estimation. Since Jeremy wrote it there have been two major events, all archaeological, which impinge on the life of Richard III and which Jeremy would have wanted to at least mention although they do not realign Richard's reputation in any major way."
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A minute study of the facts of Richard's life has tended more and more to convince me of the general fidelity of the portrait with which we have been made familiar by Shakespeare and Sir Thomas More. JAMES GAIRDNER Preface to History of the Life and Reign of Richard the Third (1878) What is astounding about this statement is not so much that Gairdner supposes the sensational protagonist of the melodramatic Richard III to be a portrait of the real Richard but that he supposes it to be, in any way, the portrait of a human being. PAUL MURRAY KENDALL Richard III (1955)About the Author:
Jeremy Potter (1922-1997) served the Richard III Society as Chairman from 1971-1989. During his chairmanship, the Society launched several important initiatives, including the commissioning of a heroic statue of Richard III (on display in Castle Gardens, Leicester), the securing of royal patronage from H.R.H. Richard Duke of Gloucester, and the broadcast of a trial of Richard III, with Lord Elwyn-Jones, former Lord Chancellor, presiding. During his tenure, the Society also became active in sponsoring the publication of fifteenth-century source documents and works of current scholarship on the period. It also created the Richard III and Yorkist History Trust, which provides financial support for graduate study and publishing. Potter was elected President of the Society at its Annual General Meeting in London, October 4, 1997.
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