Feb 5 2013
Tuesday News: King Richard’s bones confirmed via DNA; Ukraine’s best selling books are historical romance; The government wants to create free WIFI
“The federal government wants to create super WiFi networks across the nation, so powerful and broad in reach that consumers could use them to make calls or surf the Internet without paying a cellphone bill every month. The proposal from the Federal Communications Commission has rattled the $178 billion wireless industry, which has launched a fierce lobbying effort to persuade policymakers to reconsider the idea, analysts say. That has been countered by an equally intense campaign from Google, Microsoft and other tech giants who say a free-for-all WiFi service would spark an explosion of innovations and devices that would benefit most Americans, especially the poor. “
The most successful author of Ukraine, according to the list, is Natalya Havrilenko, better known by her pen name Simona Vilar, an author of about 20 historical romance novels. Part of them is set in medieval France and England, but lately the writer focuses on a more patriotic location – Kyivan Rus. Her heroines are not Anna and Mary anymore, but Svetorada and Karina. The plot bears the classic features of a romance novel, with a noblewoman heroine going through some adventures accompanied by a knight, prince or knyaz.
Other wounds included slashes or stabs to the face and the side of the head. There was also evidence of “humiliation” injuries, including a pelvic wound likely to have been caused by an upward thrust of a weapon, through the buttock.
The only romance book I can recall regarding Richard the III is Fool’s Masquerade
by Joan Wolf. It’s a chick in pants story (and I loved it). The hero, Earl of Leyburn, is a great fan of King Richard who took great umbrage to anyone speaking ill of King Richard.
“King Richard?” I said incredulously. “Do you mean Richard the Third? The hunchback?”
His handsome face looked suddenly stern. “Don’t ever say that here in the north. Here he is ‘good King Richard’ and still beloved in memory. The eldest son of the Earl of Leyburn is always christened Richard in his memory.”
This was astonishing news. “But Shakespeare…” I began.
“Shakespeare lived under a Tudor sovereign,” he said. “It was in his interest to vilify Richard.”
“The last owner of this castle was Richard Plantagenet, King Richard the Third.” He was not smiling.
“Oh.” I looked around me. “It must have been very grand once.”
“It was. The jewel of the north Middleham used to be. The Tudors let it fall into ruin.”
I remembered what Mr. Fitzallan had told me about Richard III.
“I understand that here in the north people do not think of King Richard as they do elsewhere,” I said tentatively.
The earl’s dark eyes were hard on my face. “No, they don’t. Richard the Third, Valentine, is the most bitterly wronged king in all of English history.”
I held his gaze. “I only know about him from Shakespeare.”
His mouth twisted. “You and everyone else. Crookback Richard, villain, usurper, murderer. And none of it is true.”
“What was Shakespeare’s source?” I asked. One thing I had learned from my father was to evaluate the bias of historical sources before coming to any conclusions. Lord Leyburn looked at me speculatively.
“The History of Richard III by Sir Thomas More.”
“Sir Thomas More?” I shook my head. “I don’t think one can call into question the integrity of a man like More, my lord.”
The earl made an abrupt gesture. “Sit down, Valentine.” I sat on a low stone wall and stretched out my legs. Lord Leyburn did the same. “Thomas More was brought up in the household of Cardinal Morton, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Morton was the right hand man of Henry the Seventh, the Tudor usurper who defeated Richard at Bosworth Field. Morton was also, and had been for years, Richard’s deadly enemy. There is no doubt that Morton is the one who supplied the information about Richard to his pupil, Thomas More. And the history was never published in More’s lifetime. It was found with his papers after his death. It was not finished. I’ve always thought that More, who was an extremely intelligent man, never finished it because he had begun to doubt the honesty and the value of the material supplied to him by Morton.”
“What do you know of Richard the Third, Valentine?”
“That he murdered his nephews, the little princes in the tower,” I answered promptly.
“And why would he do that, do you think? Richard had already been crowned king and widely accepted by the country.”
“Because the princes were the sons of Edward the Fourth and Richard was only the former king’s younger brother. They had a better right to the throne than he.”
“So did the boy’s five sisters. And his brother George’s son and daughter. In getting rid of the boys he would only be scratching the surface of the York heirs who supposedly stood between him and the throne.”
I narrowed my eyes and stared at the stone walls of the ruined castle. “What happened to the other heirs?” I asked finally.
“You have a beautiful mind, Valentine,” he said. “When Richard died, they were all alive and prospering.”
“When Richard died,” I repeated. “What happened to them after he died?”
“Henry took immediate steps to secure the persons of all of the heirs and kept them in close seclusion until he could get rid of them with a minimum of fuss.”
“My, my, my.” I looked at him. “No one ever claimed Henry the Seventh was a pleasant man,” I remarked.
“He was more than unpleasant. He was the murdering bastard who had the princes killed,” the earl said, and proceeded to set forth the evidence.