I first became interested in the plight of Richard III when, years ago, I read The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey in which she ‘proves’ that the portrayal of Richard had more to do with Tudor propaganda than with reality. A journey to York, while researching my Janna Mysteries, further prompted my curiosity. There is a wonderful Richard III museum there, set up with Richard in the dock on trial for the murder of the princes in the tower. Did he – or didn’t he? The case for and against is set out – with some light-hearted newspaper headlines of the screamer variety – but also with some compelling evidence including proclamations from the townsfolk formally expressing their regret at the death of their well-loved and respected lord. York was Richard’s heartland – one assumes these good burghers knew what they were talking about! And although he was king for only three short years, his was a sound and innovative administration. As the Janna Mysteries are set during the founding of the Plantagenet dynasty, I joined the (Sydney) Plantagenet Society and later, the Richard III Society – Richard being the last of the Plantagenet line. As you may imagine, there is great excitement in the ranks! The search for Richard and the discovery of the body is fascinating enough, but the various ways they have set about proving it seems the stuff of all good forensic crime fiction! Now that they’ve unearthed him, there’s a new challenge: where to bury him? In Westminster Cathedral with other English kings; in Westminster Abbey, given that he was a Catholic; in his heartland of York, or in Leicester close to where he met his death at the Battle of Bosworth? RIP, Richard.

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