Intelligence Quotient

   Posted by: Julia Redlich   in News, Richard III in the Media

Staying in the Upper Hunter Valley to dog and cat sit, while my daughter and her family went skiing, I had of course remembered Richard all day on Wednesday, August 22.  That evening I turned on the television for the Gruen Planet programme, and enjoyed half an hour of Stephen Fry and QI beforehand.

Imagine my joy when it turned out to be all about Shakespeare (and most Ricardians of my acquaintance know my love of the Bard and his work, if not his interpretation of English history). Then came the question:  “How would you describe Richard III?”  Long pause until someone ventured “Hunchback”.  My hackles rose, as did those of the dogs who happily never before seen me glowering.

However, all was well.  Stephen Fry – bless him – said that was how Shakespeare described him, because he was a villain in the play, but there was no proof he was deformed and in fact was actually a very different person, a good king, law-maker etc.

Cue for me to stand and cheer to major consternation on the part of Gus and Jack who soon realised it was a case of ‘mad grandmother disease’.

I suspect it was an ages old repeat, but with speed and minuscule type size of the credits at the end of the programme, I couldn’t check when the programme was made. But how wonderful to have good things said about King Richard on the anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth.

Loyaulte me lie

Photograph of Stephen Fry obtained through Wikimedia Commons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stephen_Fry_cropped.jpg)

P.S.  Stephen Fry’s knowledge about Richard III is small surprise:  His alma mater is Queens’ College, Cambridge, of which Richard was a major benefactor.  The college honours his memory and the college gift shop sells bags with his boar emblem.

Queens’ College shopping bag (© Dorothea Preis)

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