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"The 'Real' White Queen & her Rivals", Weds, 17/07, BBC2, 9pm


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Old 20-07-2013, 10:01
moondew
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Doesn't PG have a history degree? I thought she did.
She went to Sussex Uni, and also has a Phd from Edinburgh Uni.
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Old 20-07-2013, 10:40
Cadiva
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Doesn't PG have a history degree? I thought she did.
She has a history degree from the University of Sussex and a Phd (on the characteristics of heroines in 18th-century popular novels) from Edinburgh so can quite correctly refer to herself, and be referred to, as a historian. She has also taught at a number of universities.

The programme was okay and I think it would have been useful to anyone who had no knowledge of the period at all. For me, it didn't really tell me anything I didn't know but then again, this is my favourite period in history and I have an awful lot of books about it already.
I think I'd agree with whoever said earlier that she was giving out mixed messages by confusing 21st century morality with the lives of people in the Middle Ages but I don't think that's unusual for this kind of a documentary.

While I have read and enjoyed her books, I treat them with a pinch of salt and take them for what they are, a bit of historical drama/romance through a specific period of history with only a nod to the actualities of the time periods she's covering. Some are better than others, I prefer her Cousin's War series to her Tudor ones and her Slavery series set in Bristol was very good.

However, I do give her credit for exposing to a wider audience a period of history which is often sadly neglected over the Tudors who followed it. The Plantagenets were a fascinating family who ruled England for more than three centuries and it's about time they got a bit more attention
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Old 20-07-2013, 11:17
Yvie123
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She has a history degree from the University of Sussex and a Phd (on the characteristics of heroines in 18th-century popular novels) from Edinburgh so can quite correctly refer to herself, and be referred to, as a historian. She has also taught at a number of universities.

The programme was okay and I think it would have been useful to anyone who had no knowledge of the period at all. For me, it didn't really tell me anything I didn't know but then again, this is my favourite period in history and I have an awful lot of books about it already.
I think I'd agree with whoever said earlier that she was giving out mixed messages by confusing 21st century morality with the lives of people in the Middle Ages but I don't think that's unusual for this kind of a documentary.

While I have read and enjoyed her books, I treat them with a pinch of salt and take them for what they are, a bit of historical drama/romance through a specific period of history with only a nod to the actualities of the time periods she's covering. Some are better than others, I prefer her Cousin's War series to her Tudor ones and her Slavery series set in Bristol was very good.

However, I do give her credit for exposing to a wider audience a period of history which is often sadly neglected over the Tudors who followed it. The Plantagenets were a fascinating family who ruled England for more than three centuries and it's about time they got a bit more attention
This is an excellent post
I'm one of those who are guilty of focussing more on the Tudors than any other period of History, and although I've also read about characters further back in History, for some reason I've skirted around the Plantagenets.
This program, and the recent one about the discovery of Richard III's body, have given me an appetite to read more about that period.
I do prefer my History books to be non fictionalised accounts and so I've not read more than a couple of Philippa Gregory's books, but if I remember correctly, she does include an addendum where she points out which parts are factual and which have been surmised or crafted for the purpose of creating the novel.
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Old 20-07-2013, 11:53
gilesb
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She has a history degree from the University of Sussex and a Phd (on the characteristics of heroines in 18th-century popular novels) from Edinburgh so can quite correctly refer to herself, and be referred to, as a historian. She has also taught at a number of universities.

The programme was okay and I think it would have been useful to anyone who had no knowledge of the period at all. For me, it didn't really tell me anything I didn't know but then again, this is my favourite period in history and I have an awful lot of books about it already.
I think I'd agree with whoever said earlier that she was giving out mixed messages by confusing 21st century morality with the lives of people in the Middle Ages but I don't think that's unusual for this kind of a documentary.

While I have read and enjoyed her books, I treat them with a pinch of salt and take them for what they are, a bit of historical drama/romance through a specific period of history with only a nod to the actualities of the time periods she's covering. Some are better than others, I prefer her Cousin's War series to her Tudor ones and her Slavery series set in Bristol was very good.

However, I do give her credit for exposing to a wider audience a period of history which is often sadly neglected over the Tudors who followed it. The Plantagenets were a fascinating family who ruled England for more than three centuries and it's about time they got a bit more attention
Thanks I thought she had, i didn't know about the Phd, interesting that she doesn't refer to herself as Dr (?).

Anyway, my point is that those who are saying she isn't an historian are therefore incorrect right? They just don't agree with her interpretation of history or her flowering of history in her books. Which is a slightly different point than saying she isn't an historian......

I have some knowledge of the period but not a huge amount. I enjoy watching her shows and then going to the library to look up in books to see if what happened in the tv show did actually happen. Surely that has to be a good thing?
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Old 20-07-2013, 12:12
neelia
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This is an excellent post
I'm one of those who are guilty of focussing more on the Tudors than any other period of History, and although I've also read about characters further back in History, for some reason I've skirted around the Plantagenets.
This program, and the recent one about the discovery of Richard III's body, have given me an appetite to read more about that period.
I do prefer my History books to be non fictionalised accounts and so I've not read more than a couple of Philippa Gregory's books, but if I remember correctly, she does include an addendum where she points out which parts are factual and which have been surmised or crafted for the purpose of creating the novel.
My history centre of gravity is also the Tudors. I have been working both backwards and forwards from that point. Although I do find the WotR much more interesting than the Stuarts. I love Alison Weir and notice she has a book due on Elizabeth of York. I am hoping one day she focus's on Cecily.
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Old 20-07-2013, 12:12
Kapellmeister
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I found it hard to focus on the programme as I seemed to be drawn to PG's overly botoxed face .Why do women now think that freezing their face makes them look more attractive ? In reality it makes them look all the same and not at all natural .
Didn't she look ridiculous? like David Guest's sister.
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Old 20-07-2013, 12:21
moondew
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Thanks I thought she had, i didn't know about the Phd, interesting that she doesn't refer to herself as Dr (??
At the start of the prog she was referred to as Dr Philippa Gregory.
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Old 20-07-2013, 12:32
gilesb
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At the start of the prog she was referred to as Dr Philippa Gregory.
On the Last Days of Anne Boleyn i don't think she does.
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Old 20-07-2013, 12:43
moondew
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On the Last Days of Anne Boleyn i don't think she does.
It's probably down to the show's producer.
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Old 20-07-2013, 12:46
Yvie123
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My history centre of gravity is also the Tudors. I have been working both backwards and forwards from that point. Although I do find the WotR much more interesting than the Stuarts. I love Alison Weir and notice she has a book due on Elizabeth of York. I am hoping one day she focus's on Cecily.
I really like Alison Weir's books, too - I've ordered her book on the War of The Roses to start off my reading on the subject
I loved her book on Eleanor of Aquitaine, and I've recently reread The Six Wives of Henry VIII...really interesting reading.
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Old 20-07-2013, 12:58
neelia
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I really like Alison Weir's books, too - I've ordered her book on the War of The Roses to start off my reading on the subject
I loved her book on Eleanor of Aquitaine, and I've recently reread The Six Wives of Henry VIII...really interesting reading.
I'm sure you'll like it. I have the other two too. I also enjoyed her Princes in the Tower.

I am currently on the Lady in the Tower about the fall of AB.
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Old 21-07-2013, 20:07
starry
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I enjoyed it enough really, didn't find her narration too offputting compared to some others out there. And you can't say that the concentration on females within the circle of power is only her interest, some programs on Roman history did exactly the same thing recently and that had a different presenter. Narratives told well enough and which are entertaining, just accept it for what it is meant to be.
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Old 24-07-2013, 22:07
Talma
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Good grief, what a dreadful programme part 2 is! I'm glad I didn't see part 1 now...

Talk about being selective about known facts (or even theories). Using Shakespeare as a source, stating things like 'Edward killed Warwick' - in fact Edward's on record as issuing orders that he was to be captured alive.

Implying Edward of Westminster was dragged from sanctuary and executed, when no-one knows how and when he died except it was in or around the battle.

Richard being responsible for the deaths of Anne's family? Considering they were his family too (just on the wrong side) never occurred I suppose. He fought them in battle but there's never been any suggestion he killed Warwick or Montagu. Elizabeth Woodville could accuse him of that later but not Anne.

Anne ran away from Clarence and sought sanctuary - well she got away in some shape or form but no-one knows quite how, it's one of the many mysteries about her.

George of Clarence was spreading rumours about the pre-contract - yes, there's a theory that's why George was finally executed, and would be in character, but again no-one really knows.

Anne Neville didn't go to London and knew Richard was going to take over because she never ordered coronation robes and wasn't ill - considering she died of what was probably TB a couple of years later, who's to know that? If Richard thought the situation was iffy with the queen plotting he may well have said he'd go south and sound it out and send for her later, which in fact he did.

No mention of Richard being rightful Protector and being told of the pre-contract (whether you believe it or not) or that the Queen didn't tell him Edward had died before making her move to get her son to London and probably crowned before Richard knew about it and that he had to send north for more troops to counter the possibility of her family trying to get rid of him.

And a servant boy was sent out to the Tower as the younger prince and no-one noticed? I must admit I've never heard that one before, ditto that Margaret Beaufort and Elizabeth personally and secretly organised Buckingham's rebellion.

(that's when I gave up)

Okay, sorry for the rant but the whole thing about history and why we can debate it so much is that there's so much we don't know, and if you state things as fact that either aren't, or may not be, it's so irresponsible
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Old 24-07-2013, 22:24
gilesb
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Good grief, what a dreadful programme part 2 is! I'm glad I didn't see part 1 now...

Talk about being selective about known facts (or even theories). Using Shakespeare as a source, stating things like 'Edward killed Warwick' - in fact Edward's on record as issuing orders that he was to be captured alive.

Implying Edward of Westminster was dragged from sanctuary and executed, when no-one knows how and when he died except it was in or around the battle.

Richard being responsible for the deaths of Anne's family? Considering they were his family too (just on the wrong side) never occurred I suppose. He fought them in battle but there's never been any suggestion he killed Warwick or Montagu. Elizabeth Woodville could accuse him of that later but not Anne.

Anne ran away from Clarence and sought sanctuary - well she got away in some shape or form but no-one knows quite how, it's one of the many mysteries about her.

George of Clarence was spreading rumours about the pre-contract - yes, there's a theory that's why George was finally executed, and would be in character, but again no-one really knows.

Anne Neville didn't go to London and knew Richard was going to take over because she never ordered coronation robes and wasn't ill - considering she died of what was probably TB a couple of years later, who's to know that? If Richard thought the situation was iffy with the queen plotting he may well have said he'd go south and sound it out and send for her later, which in fact he did.

No mention of Richard being rightful Protector and being told of the pre-contract (whether you believe it or not) or that the Queen didn't tell him Edward had died before making her move to get her son to London and probably crowned before Richard knew about it and that he had to send north for more troops to counter the possibility of her family trying to get rid of him.

And a servant boy was sent out to the Tower as the younger prince and no-one noticed? I must admit I've never heard that one before, ditto that Margaret Beaufort and Elizabeth personally and secretly organised Buckingham's rebellion.

(that's when I gave up)

Okay, sorry for the rant but the whole thing about history and why we can debate it so much is that there's so much we don't know, and if you state things as fact that either aren't, or may not be, it's so irresponsible
To be fair PG did often say "It is my believe...." rather than stating everything as fact. She did also state that there are many gaps in the records, to me it was quite clear she was filling in gaps with her own conjecture.

However i didnt watch it purely to be able to have a go at PG like many (not saying you) did/do.
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Old 24-07-2013, 22:39
Kapellmeister
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Good grief, what a dreadful programme part 2 is! I'm glad I didn't see part 1 now...

Talk about being selective about known facts (or even theories). Using Shakespeare as a source, stating things like 'Edward killed Warwick' - in fact Edward's on record as issuing orders that he was to be captured alive.

Implying Edward of Westminster was dragged from sanctuary and executed, when no-one knows how and when he died except it was in or around the battle.

Richard being responsible for the deaths of Anne's family? Considering they were his family too (just on the wrong side) never occurred I suppose. He fought them in battle but there's never been any suggestion he killed Warwick or Montagu. Elizabeth Woodville could accuse him of that later but not Anne.

Anne ran away from Clarence and sought sanctuary - well she got away in some shape or form but no-one knows quite how, it's one of the many mysteries about her.

George of Clarence was spreading rumours about the pre-contract - yes, there's a theory that's why George was finally executed, and would be in character, but again no-one really knows.

Anne Neville didn't go to London and knew Richard was going to take over because she never ordered coronation robes and wasn't ill - considering she died of what was probably TB a couple of years later, who's to know that? If Richard thought the situation was iffy with the queen plotting he may well have said he'd go south and sound it out and send for her later, which in fact he did.

No mention of Richard being rightful Protector and being told of the pre-contract (whether you believe it or not) or that the Queen didn't tell him Edward had died before making her move to get her son to London and probably crowned before Richard knew about it and that he had to send north for more troops to counter the possibility of her family trying to get rid of him.

And a servant boy was sent out to the Tower as the younger prince and no-one noticed? I must admit I've never heard that one before, ditto that Margaret Beaufort and Elizabeth personally and secretly organised Buckingham's rebellion.

(that's when I gave up)

Okay, sorry for the rant but the whole thing about history and why we can debate it so much is that there's so much we don't know, and if you state things as fact that either aren't, or may not be, it's so irresponsible
Totally agree. I enjoyed part one but this second part was a shocker, full of really dubious statements which simply aren't backed up by the scanty evidence. The most shocking was the insistence by Gregory and two of her cronies that Richard intended to marry Elizabeth of York. This was given as fact and yet there is no evidence to support the claim except for a rumour reported in the Crowland Chronicle and an alleged letter from Elizabeth now lost. Records suggest that Richard was looking to the Portuguese court for a bride, and yet this wasn't mentioned at all. I thought it was an appalling documentary.

The de facto statement concerning George of Clarence being the one running around spreading rumours of the pre-marital contract had me boggle-eyed in disbelief!!

Really awful, amateurish stuff reliant on presenting the most salacious gossip as fact and, in the absence of gossip, just making a load of **** up instead! A complete travesty that almost wilfully seemed to ignore everything that's KNOWN about the period in favour of the plot of a romantic novel.
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Old 24-07-2013, 23:40
chloeb
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To be fair PG did often say "It is my believe...." rather than stating everything as fact. She did also state that there are many gaps in the records, to me it was quite clear she was filling in gaps with her own conjecture.

However i didnt watch it purely to be able to have a go at PG like many (not saying you) did/do.
Me neither, I am able to make up my own mind about theories, these were just PG's thoughts. And your right she did say 'its my belief' several times to reiterate that it was just her thoughts on it all.

If I take away all the fluffiness of it it has helped me understand the relationships a little better between the 2 houses
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Old 25-07-2013, 01:05
Kapellmeister
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Me neither, I am able to make up my own mind about theories, these were just PG's thoughts. And your right she did say 'its my belief' several times to reiterate that it was just her thoughts on it all.

If I take away all the fluffiness of it it has helped me understand the relationships a little better between the 2 houses
The 'historians' she had talking didn't though, and they merely repeated the nonsense Gregory was coming out with. I've seen many historical documentaries and this one was, by far, the worst.

One of the female talking heads was Sarah Gristwood, a non-historian with a background in English and film journalism. In one of her books Gristwood refers to Clarence's drowning in a butt of wine as a fact when, obviously, it is no such thing. Gristwood also scribbles romantic historical novels in the same vein as Gregory so no wonder she appeared. I would love to know what Pollard made of the finished programme. I suspect he would've been aghast that he ever associated himself with it.
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Old 25-07-2013, 08:43
Tiggywink
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Good grief, what a dreadful programme part 2 is! I'm glad I didn't see part 1 now...

Talk about being selective about known facts (or even theories). Using Shakespeare as a source, stating things like 'Edward killed Warwick' - in fact Edward's on record as issuing orders that he was to be captured alive.

Implying Edward of Westminster was dragged from sanctuary and executed, when no-one knows how and when he died except it was in or around the battle.

Richard being responsible for the deaths of Anne's family? Considering they were his family too (just on the wrong side) never occurred I suppose. He fought them in battle but there's never been any suggestion he killed Warwick or Montagu. Elizabeth Woodville could accuse him of that later but not Anne.

Anne ran away from Clarence and sought sanctuary - well she got away in some shape or form but no-one knows quite how, it's one of the many mysteries about her.

George of Clarence was spreading rumours about the pre-contract - yes, there's a theory that's why George was finally executed, and would be in character, but again no-one really knows.

Anne Neville didn't go to London and knew Richard was going to take over because she never ordered coronation robes and wasn't ill - considering she died of what was probably TB a couple of years later, who's to know that? If Richard thought the situation was iffy with the queen plotting he may well have said he'd go south and sound it out and send for her later, which in fact he did.

No mention of Richard being rightful Protector and being told of the pre-contract (whether you believe it or not) or that the Queen didn't tell him Edward had died before making her move to get her son to London and probably crowned before Richard knew about it and that he had to send north for more troops to counter the possibility of her family trying to get rid of him.

And a servant boy was sent out to the Tower as the younger prince and no-one noticed? I must admit I've never heard that one before, ditto that Margaret Beaufort and Elizabeth personally and secretly organised Buckingham's rebellion.

(that's when I gave up)

Okay, sorry for the rant but the whole thing about history and why we can debate it so much is that there's so much we don't know, and if you state things as fact that either aren't, or may not be, it's so irresponsible
Thank you for this. These statements annoyed me too. I was hoping it might be a chance to rehabilitate Richard in some way but I'm afraid I had to give up at some point too. Audiences are not that discriminating and when she says "Richard did this or that." with no context or qualifier, they take it at face value.
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Old 25-07-2013, 10:38
xvoguex
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I think these authors should remain unseen.

I enjoy her books but this programme wasn’t really about the Real White Queen it seem to be an extension of her books and the TV series.

I did agree with the statement that I think these women played a big part in the Wars of Roses but History does focus more on the Men. Women do tend to be painted in bad light if they are strong women they get called She-wolves or even witches.

I was bit surprised by her comment about Richard stating that he was no longer sleeping with Anne. I thought that Richard and Anne always shared a bed which was most unusual. Kings and Queen always had separate rooms and I imagine most nobles would have had separate rooms too as a lot of marries were arrange back then. The fact that he stopped sharing her bed was because she was ill and dying and doctors advised him not too as it would be unpleasant for both. People at the time found this really shocking, PG was very miss leading. Also there is no real concrete evidence about the relationship between Richard and Elizabeth. What we do know is that Richard was arranging marries one for him and one for Elizabeth. Elizabeth may of grown and unhealthy attachment to Richard which people around them would be able to see. The people around them may have got there wires crossed and thought Richard wanted to marry Elizabeth, Richard denied this and sent her from court. There was a letter to suggest she had feeling for Richard and wanted marry him, which has now disappeared. I think it was George Buck who commented on it not sure when.

This letter may or may not be authentic. If it is not then why would someone fake it? I think it doesn’t hold Elizabeth of York in a good light hoping that the Queen’s illness is fatal. If it is real it could fit into people being misled by her actions and attraction to Richard and thinking they were planning to marry. There doesn’t seem be any evidence to suggest Richard liked her that way.

Also PG stated that Richard III buried in an unmarked grave, no he wasn’t. Henry VII built a tomb for him which got destroyed and the grave got lost over time.


oops that was a long post sorry
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Old 25-07-2013, 10:51
Kapellmeister
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I was bit surprised by her comment about Richard stating that he was no longer sleeping with Anne. I thought that Richard and Anne always shared a bed which was most unusual. Kings and Queen always had separate rooms and I imagine most nobles would have had separate rooms too as a lot of marries were arrange back then. The fact that he stopped sharing her bed was because she was ill and dying and doctors advised him not too as it would be unpleasant for both.
I think of all the nonsense spouted by Gregory, this was some of the worst.
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Old 25-07-2013, 11:01
Tiggywink
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One thing about it that intrigued me was PG's suggestion the Anne Neville and Richard were afraid of witchcraft and to some extent for that reason hated / feared E. Woodville. It had not occurred much to me - either - that Anne (may have) used pillowtalk to encourage Richard to go against the Queen (as a sort of revenge for Barnet).
Of course it's all conjecture - and these few weeks in 1483 are so damnably full of twists and turns that each time you think of an argument which seems to suggest one possible explanation for things, there is an equally plausible counter argument to squash it.

And - just how far was it possible (through Ths Stanley) for Margaret Beaufort to have access to the Princes??
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Old 25-07-2013, 11:17
xvoguex
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One thing about it that intrigued me was PG's suggestion the Anne Neville and Richard were afraid of witchcraft and to some extent for that reason hated / feared E. Woodville. It had not occurred much to me - either - that Anne (may have) used pillowtalk to encourage Richard to go against the Queen (as a sort of revenge for Barnet).
Of course it's all conjecture - and these few weeks in 1483 are so damnably full of twists and turns that each time you think of an argument which seems to suggest one possible explanation for things, there is an equally plausible counter argument to squash it.
And - just how far was it possible (through Ths Stanley) for Margaret Beaufort to have access to the Princes??
bib - Couldn't agree more just when you think you have an answer then you find counter arguments to it. I think that’s why I love this period.

Regarding Margaret Beaufort: - Not really sure about her having access to the Princes via Stanley she may of done.
One side say Richard was the only one to have access to the Tower and the Princes but he couldn’t be there 24/7. He would of put people he trusted there to guard it, but then again they could of turn against him.
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Old 25-07-2013, 11:23
Tiggywink
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bib - Couldn't agree more just when you think you have an answer then you find counter arguments to it. I think that’s why I love this period.

Regarding Margaret Beaufort: - Not really sure about her having access to the Princes via Stanley she may of done.
One side say Richard was the only one to have access to the Tower and the Princes but he couldn’t be there 24/7. He would of put people he trusted there to guard it, but then again they could of turn against him.
I always fancied Buckingham as an equally likely candidate - he was, after all Constable of the Tower at the time. And I would bet he was quite happy to act without Richard's orders because he thought he was indispensible and that Richard needed him.
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Old 25-07-2013, 11:27
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Hmm are we going to be discussing the history of the time in two separate threads now? Maybe better to keep this stuff in the other thread and keep this just for criticism (as that's what it seems to be ) of PG? I want to follow it all but it will be difficult if it's all split up.
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Old 25-07-2013, 11:42
kaycee
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I didn't like the BBC2 program at all. A program like this should show only historical FACTS as is known. Because someone has written something in a novel, that doesn't make it a fact!

But I really enjoy Phiippa Gregory's books; I think they are well written and do give some - I stress some - indication of the history of the time in which they were set.

However, although her books are based around people who we know really existed, they (the books) are still classed as FICTION. She takes what is thought of as facts, and fills them out with what could or might have happened. She doesn't pretend them to be factual history books.
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