Richard III

Richard III

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Excerpt: ...more serviceable. Polydore Virgil was the paid historian of the Tudors. He was a native of Urbino, and was sent to England by his patron, the infamous Pope Alexander VI., in 1501 as the assistant collector of the tax called Peter's pence. Henry requested him to undertake the history, placing all official materials at his disposal, and doubtless indicating the line he was to take. He proved 172 an apt pupil and was well rewarded. He was made absentee Rector of Church Langton, received a prebend at Lincoln, another at Hereford, and was appointed Archdeacon of Wells. In 1513 he was made a Canon of St. Paul's with a house, and he had other preferment. His history was completed in 1534. Polydore Virgil was a man of learning, and his work is based on original research. But he did not hesitate to misrepresent facts not only to please his patrons, but in order to gratify his own spite and malignity. 8 In his account of events in the life of Richard III. he merely recorded the version that would be pleasing to his employer. His imperfect knowledge of the English language impairs the value of his evidence when obtained from oral sources. The tale of the assassination of young Edward of Lancaster by a King of England and his chief nobles is peculiarly Italian, and may be claimed by Polydore as his original conception. It is worthy of this protege of the Borgias. His statements respecting King Richard deserve little credit, unless they are corroborated by independent evidence. Polydore had access to the written statements of Morton, of which he made considerable use. He also had the run of all official documents, and he is said to have made away with numerous original papers, which may be presumed to have disproved his assertions. 9 One most 173 important document, which Henry ordered to be destroyed, has been preserved through a fortunate accident. 10 These three writers, Andre, Morton, and Virgil, were employed by the Tudors, and considering the...
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 6mm | 213g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236733916
  • 9781236733917