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 Richard III and the Death of Chivalry

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MAHibbard

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PostSubject: Richard III and the Death of Chivalry   Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:35 pm

On the subject of chivalry, I thought I would mention a book called Richard III and the Death of Chivalry by David Hipshong.

The author suggests that Richard was part of the old code of chivalry, already archaic by his time, that believed in loyalty and rewarding those who were loyal to him and his family, the administration of justice for high-born and low-born alike, and bestowing largesse on those deserving of such. He also discusses Richard's attitude toward glory won on the field of battle, of a wish to emulate the knights of old battling with honor, and how this attitude can be seen in events that took place at Bosworth.

Has anyone else read the book? I read it a couple months ago, but haven't gotten around to writing any kind of review. I found the parallels Hipshong brought out between Richard III and his father to be interesting, to say the least.

Any other thoughts on the subject of Richard and chivalry?
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whitehound
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PostSubject: Re: Richard III and the Death of Chivalry   Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:17 pm

I don't own the book but I've read part of it online, and it seemed very good - clear and interesting.

We know young Richard read stories about chivalry - he signed his name in a copy of Ipomedon - so he must at the least have been aware of it as an undercurrent, and whether he was measuring up to that ideal or not.

[Although it must be admitted that Ipomedon sounds quite racy, and might have been the Mediaeval equivalent of a teenage boy reading Playboy.]

Wednesday and I discussed this before, that it wasn't appropriate for people to get too contorted and pitying about Richard's death in battle, because it was a thing which he himself would almost certainly have seen as a glorious, chivalric act - even if he would still have preferred to survive it. He might even prefer the attitude of his contemporary enemies - "We didn't like him and we think he was a villain but even so - wow, what a brave fighter!" - over that of those of his friends who see his death as pathetic and pitiable.
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MAHibbard

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PostSubject: Re: Richard III and the Death of Chivalry   Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:30 pm

I suspect that you're right about Richard preferring what he saw as a glorious death in battle than being pitied as the loser. After reading Hipshong's book, I came away with an image of Richard in the old warrior ethic or mythos...or whatever the right word is.

The idea of Richard reading a racy book as a teen makes him much more relate-able as a person, because doing this reminds us of many another young boy (and even young girls who have also wanted to know what all the fuss is about), and maybe even ourselves. (Do I really want to confess to browsing through "adult" magazines when I was many years younger and accompanied my mother to the grocery store?  Wink )
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whitehound
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PostSubject: Re: Richard III and the Death of Chivalry   Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:29 pm

There's a nice little snippet which appears in the catalogue of the Richard III exhibition which was held in (iirc) the late '70s, and which unfortunately looks as if it's been lifted out of context - somebody at some point cut it off an original document and moved it to a sort of scrapbook, from the look of it.  

Anyway it has Richard's boar badge accompanied by a barely-legible, faded label (so one can't tell whether it's in his hand or not) and below that, on a separate piece, the "Tant le Desere" motto, this time definitely in his own handwriting.  If the motto and the boar come from the same parchment, which isn't clear, then he probably drew the boar too.  The boar is pretty well-drawn, apart from the hooves, but it tickles me because it sort-of peters out at the back - as if he got embarrassed when it came to drawing the genitals, and fudged it.

This is the same page which includes a really wonderful example of a boar hat-badge in which the boar is transformed into a cute piggy, with a curly tail, a ring in his nose and googoo eyes.  If this is intended as Richard's boar - which it is believed to be - then it suggests not only that his followers held him in great affection but that they knew he wasn't the sort of bloke to go up to high doh and start lopping heads over a little affectionate disrespect.
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MAHibbard

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PostSubject: Re: Richard III and the Death of Chivalry   Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:38 pm

Now I'm having this silly, really out of time/out of character (maybe) image of a young Richard drawing pictures of boars, and mother Cecily pinning them up on the door of the Medieval equivalent of a refrigerator. *lol*
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whitehound
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PostSubject: Re: Richard III and the Death of Chivalry   Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:46 am

Using flour-and-water paste to stick them to the door of a cupboard, perhaps - or once he'd got really good at it he might have drawn one in the family Bible.
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phaecilia

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PostSubject: Re: Richard III and the Death of Chivalry   Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:22 pm

MAHibbard wrote:
On the subject of chivalry, I thought I would mention a book called Richard III and the Death of Chivalry by David Hipshong.  [snip]

Any other thoughts on the subject of Richard and chivalry?

I haven't read it.  Did Hipshong write anything about Richard, when he was duke of Gloucester and Constable of England, contributing to the College of Heralds?  Or after he became king?  I believe Richard gave the College of Heralds a house that Margaret Beaufort took over after Richard's death.

I'd like to know more about Richard's work with the College of Heralds.  

phaecilia
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