Editor’s Comment: Our branch was approached at the beginning of this year by Thomas Layton, who was considering writing his HSC major work essay for Extension History on Richard III.  My daughter, who had also written her HSC essay on Richard III, and I had a chat with Thomas and gave him some advice on books and other material he might find useful.  Thomas received outstanding results for his essay and we are only too happy to include it on our branch website.

Thomas Edward Layton

Extension History

Historical Investigation

To What Extent can Thomas More’s ‘History of King Richard III’ be

Considered a work of Tudor Propaganda?

From the historiographical debate surrounding England’s King Richard III I have narrowed down my research to studying the influence of propaganda on Thomas More’s History of King Richard III. When Henry Tudor overthrew King Richard in 1485 he took by force a throne to which he had only a fledgling claim. Propaganda was then forwarded to validate his title, by depicting Richard and his Yorkist family as tyrants whom Tudor was divinely mandated to overthrow. Propaganda of this ilk was formalised by Polydore Vergil, Tudor’s official historian who described King Richard as the epitome of evil. 21st century largely views More’s as an inaccurate image of Richard III, but the question remains if it is propagandist. With Richard painted in a negative light also by Thomas More many revisionist historians group him with Vergil as a Tudor Propagandist. On this issue I compare the arguments of More and Vergil to first confirm More’s image of him as similar to the Tudor party line. I also seek corroboration for More’s account in the Crowland Chronicle of the period and the account of Dominic Mancini, in order to determine the balance in More’s account between fact and fiction. I also examine his political attitudes, his philosophical and moral views, and the source material he based history upon to first determine whether or not he wrote his History to serve the Tudor cause. These questions will be posed employing historians of both traditionalist views such as Charles Ross and Alfred Rowse, and revisionist views such as Jeremy Potter, Paul Kendall and V.B Lamb; all of whom base their account to a degree on their interpretations of Thomas More. Also employed are numerous textual analyses of More’s History, as well as Richard Sylvester’s view as More’s translator, and Richard Marius’s view as his biographer. Based on my conclusions thereof I propose that he wrote to use the Tudor image of King Richard as an archetype for evil, remembering the renaissance view of history was different to ours. The pre-existence of Tudor propaganda that impacted More’s sources meant More saw Richard in this light, and applied his image to a general discourse on tyranny for a philosophical purpose, rather than the purposes of Henry Tudor.

Richard Plantagenet acceded to the English throne as ‘King Richard III’ in 1483, at the height of Yorkist supremacy during the Wars of the Roses. Despite ruling for just over two years before his death at the Battle of Bosworth Field, his legacy has generated more controversy than any other figure in English history. Central to the debate has been the treatment of Thomas More’s History of King Richard III, an indictment of the monarch upon which Shakespeare’s tragedy was based. Traditionalist historians especially Alfred Rowse have emphasised Richard’s flaws as More describes them. While historians such as Paul Kendall, committed to clearing Richard’s name, often label his work ‘propaganda’: with all its connotations of deliberate manipulation, to discredit More as historically inaccurate. Four questions are key; How does the content of More’s History compare with known propagandists? How did More’s political and philosophic purposes in writing history affect his work? How was he influenced by his source material? Finally, given these considerations, can his damning image of King Richard be Tudor propaganda?

In this paper it will be argued that More deliberately imbued The History of King Richard III with an evil, tyrannical king. However this was not done to serve the Tudor cause. Rather it was done, in the humanist style common to More’s age, to attack and warn against tyranny. Despite this his account can be corroborated providing a reliable source for the sequence of events [i]. Finally that More is guilty of unintentionally propagating the Tudor myth, based on pre-existing biases in his sources.

Extant challenges have emerged to More’s interpretation of events that date back to Elizabethan England [ii]. 21st century historiography concedes Richard’s kingship was marked by generosity [iii], and the worst crimes that More and others accuse him of cannot be proven. [iv] As such this essay rests on the view that Richard was not the fundamental evil More portrays him to be.

The first issue is the precise correspondence between the content of More’s history and Tudor propagandist Polydore Vergil. Early evidence of propaganda is seen in Jon Rous’s two histories, the first published during Richard’s life gives praise to King Richard; while changed his second edition of a Short History of the Kings of England to condemning Richard [v] after Tudor’s victory. This is early evidence of partisan propaganda by sycophantic Englishmen as much as ambitious Tudors affecting history [vi]. Propaganda was certainly expounded as Richard was well loved in parts of England [vii]. For example at Micklegate Bar in York the suggestion that Richard was a tyrant sparked a brawl. [viii] Vergil was a reputed renaissance writer; [ix] however his employment by Henry VII to write the official history of England made him not only the official Tudor historian but the official Tudor propagandist. [x] His narrative Anglica Historia unapologetically denounces the House of York by contrasting degraded images of Yorkist Kings, especially Richard III, to the messianic figure of Henry Tudor [xi]. For Vergil’s purpose, Richard taking the crown was not only sinful but caused England extensive damage:

Richard from thenceforth determined to assay his purpose spiteful practice by subtlety and sleight, …with malice apart, to attempt the same: not minding, miserable man, that he could offend therin without extreme detriment of the commonwealth and the utter subversion of his house. [xii]

Contrasted to Richard’s tyrannical figure is the saint-like figure of Tudor, who appears as divinely mandated for kingship. Tudor’s:

…spirit was distinguished, wise and prudent; his mind was brave and resolute…In government he was shrewd and prudent… He was gracious and kind [xiii].

Little mention is made of Tudor’s own machinations for the throne. The negatively toned focus on Richard thus gives a cover and justification for Tudor’s own usurpation.

More’s biography is more detailed. Yet his Richard also “was malicious, wrathful, envious, and from afore his birth, ever froward.” [xiv]  By evil, tyrannical acts he seized the throne“without any respect of God or the world”. Stephen Gresham, in his literary analysis of More’s History, has noted that Richard is not only shown as a tyrant in his acts but also in his very nature, which is born of the interpretation More takes from events. [xv] Richard’s evil character creates an image much stronger than merely narrating his several harsh, arbitrary executions. One of the key features of propaganda is giving the ‘mass’ a strongly negative image on which to fix their hate. [xvi] Both More and Vergil described Richard’s evil demeanour very visually, crafting embodiments of greed and dissimulation. This includes the description of a hunchback and withered arm, appealing to medieval ideas of an evil mind equating to a corrupted body. [xvii]

It is likely that both were based on similar sources. Though there are enough discrepancies to suggest they did not copy each other.  [xviii] The basic succession of events can be corroborated by another primary source, The Crowland Chronicle. In the timespan covered by More’s work the chronicle diverges only on the date of Lord Hastings’s execution. [xix] And aside from certain authorial comments the events are framed impartially, in the austere style typical of medieval historians. Corroboration is also found in Dominic Mancini. [xx] While his account is limited by poor knowledge of the English language, its discovery was a boon to historians as it provided an account that was detached from the politics of medieval England. C.A.J Armstrong, who translated and analysed Mancini’s work, believes that Mancini’s account is reliable as he appears to remain silent on issues he would have known nothing about, such as Richard’s appearance, while in other areas he does not present the damning commentary on events that characterises More’s and Vergil’s work. [xxi]

Two conclusions can thus be made. Firstly; the account can be corroborated and is, in general, a reliable narrative. Secondly; More’s negative portrayal of Richard is keeping with the Tudor propagandist image of him that is clearly identified in the writings of Vergil, though there are discrepancies. The presence, however, of language similar to the Tudor propagandists does not in itself convict More of forwarding propaganda; for while Vergil’s purpose is obvious, More’s is not, and warrants further consideration.

A second question thus arises. If More’s history keeps to the Tudor party line, what purpose did he have in it? He had little love for the Tudor family, [xxii] or monarchic power in general. [xxiii] He must therefore have written for other purposes. Sylvester identifies Tacitus as a key influence on More. [xxiv] Tacitus used the Emperors Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero as archetypes for the dangers of one man rule. Richard Marius, More’s standard biographer, identifies several figures of More’s History teaching similar lessons. Richard is a figure of tyranny which kings must avoid copying to escape divine retribution. His ambition for the throne corrupts every aspect of his character, until evil defines him. Richard III is therefore More’s tool for attacking a greater evil. It is mirrored also in the framing of the story, with the realm peaceful and prosperous at the outset, which Richard then destroys. [xxv] Other arguments woven into the history include More’s concern for the weakening influence of the church, [xxvi] demonstrated in the argument between Woodville and Buckingham over the rights of sanctuary. Ulterior motives for propagating More’s own views on morals, corruption and society itself clearly affected More’s history more so than the desire to vindicate Tudor rule of England.

Renaissance philosophy was another key influence on More, and there is consensus among traditionalists Charles Ross and Winston Churchill and revisionists such as Jeremy Potter that More wrote history to teach a moral lesson like many of his contemporaries. More studied under Linacre, and associated with Erasmus and other noted Christian humanists of the period. [xxvii] He identified with the Christian humanist view that ‘new learning’ was the key to progress in Europe. [xxviii] His belief in truth as an absolute made him dogmatic in his views, demonstrated by the vehement catholic apologies written in his last years. [xxix] Utopia, considered his manifesto, indicts kings, lords and clergy who abuse their positions. [xxx] Therefore, as Utopia also demonstrates, he had many philosophical disagreements with the world.

In his early works More employs declamation and satire to promote a moral purpose. [xxxi] Jeremy Potter counts his History among them, arguing in Good King Richard? that More wrote a dramatization of tyranny by satirising Tudor historians. [xxxii]

“A third of it is in imaginary dialogue, and the remainder contains factual inaccuracies with palpable absurdities…it is to a great extent ironical, a parody of history, a jest at the expense of Polydore Vergil.” [xxxiii]

Potter [xxxiv] views More’s history to be a piece of “character assassination” and analyses More’s framing of his report. More’s insertions that ‘it is for truth reported’ are according to Potter, an indication to readers that More is in fact reporting gossip. Potter vindicates his claim further by referring to the mistakes of date and detail that litter the work. He contends that these are deliberate and indicate to readers that what is being claimed is a falsehood; similar to More’s use of Greek words in Utopia, which claim the island to be a factual place while ‘Utopia’ translates as ‘no place’. However, A.L Rowse’s Bosworth Field and the Wars of the Roses chronicles the reign of Richard III in detail and depicts Richard as a character similar to Shakespeare’s. While this sees it rightly dismissed as ‘non history’ by fellow traditionalist Charles Ross, Rowse makes one crucial point as to the inaccuracies of More’s History, that they prove nothing. [xxxv] Rowse reminds us that we are dealing with an unfinished, unpublished, first draft manuscript that was likely written from the memory of its author by reports he had collected. Mistakes are to be expected in a first draft. This is surprising since Rowse does little other analysis of More’s work and generally takes him at his word. [xxxvi] More’s prevailing image of Richard III discusses his own moral views but this does not change the content of his work,xxxvii where the Machiavellian king can be seen as a character archetype. [xxxviii] This archetype is one that modern historiography rejects. The consideration of More’s other motives and influences, combined with the knowledge that the work was left unfinished and unpublished, do further enhance study of the motivations and accuracy for his writing.

Given that More’s history was very likely coloured by morally didactic motives, and More was not known as a liar in any other circumstance of his life. The question must be asked if his source material was coloured so that in his eyes Richard was indeed a tyrant. Most recently suggested by V.B Lamb, in his defence of Richard III, is a suggestion that, while More was not a propagandist, his sources were full of propaganda. [xxxix] Lamb highlights the influence in writing the text of John Morton, Bishop of Ely, mirroring an argument first presented by Sir George Buck. [xl] Morton had served house Lancaster and despite being tolerated by Edward IV incited rebellion against Richard. [xli] Morton was not the only witness to Richard’s reign More had access to; his sources could easily have included Thomas Howard of Norfolk, who fought for Richard at Bosworth. [xlii] However many of the events More describes, most notably the execution of Lord Hastings, would have either required an eyewitness or else would be fictional. [xliii] As Morton was present at the execution of Hastings and was a servant of Richard in the early part of his reign it is not unreasonable to suggest that he furnished More with details. Especially since More held Morton, his mentor and guardian, in great esteem and trusted his testimony. Once Morton’s influence is considered, some of More’s detailed descriptions of Richard’s inner evil can be better understood. Remembering Potter’s argument that More manipulated the Tudor party line, it is possible that More saw in the prevailing historical image of Richard III an archetype for his moral didacticism. Potter writes that the account “pictures an unnatural being and his deeds through the eyes of his enemies”, [xliv] in reference to the propaganda influencing More’s sources, and on this more moderate consideration appears correct. And rare agreement found between traditionalist and revisionist historians, as Charles Ross, despite emphasising Richard’s flaws in life, treats More with scepticism, arguing his work was sourced “from the lips of Tudor partisans”. [xlv]

Alison Hanham has suggested that Richard, for More, was nothing more than a literary figure; [xlvi] with reference to this Elizabeth Donno raises the possibility that the truth of Tudor propaganda mattered little to More. Referring to his aforementioned use of declamation and satire she believes that “the primary emphasis was on the effect produced, truth or falsity was of little concern.” [xlvii] It is indeed true that More’s satirical literacy could be liberal with the truth, although in real life Marius paints an accurate image of a man dogmatic in his beliefs. Derek Wilson has also shown how More’s personal and political life “gained a reputation for incorruptibility and impartiality”, and considering this the political ramifications of being so liberal with recent history would not have been lost on More. As aforementioned he had no love for the Tudors, he had no evident desire to support Henry VII’s often oppressive reign and held so high a courtly standing as to hardly need to win favour by sycophancy. [xlviii] Sylvester offers the solution to this in pointing out that the work was left neither finished nor published, quite possibly out of a desire not to vindicate the Tudor regime. [xlix] The History of Richard III then becomes simply literary exercise never intended for publication. There is definite truth to Lamb’s argument as to the slant in More’s sources, and this may have even hidden the truth from More entirely. Even those such as Thomas Howard, who supported Richard in his day, may have kept quiet to More. [l] To speak against the king was held as treason; as More would find out to his detriment. For a man, however, who so strongly opposed tyranny in its every embodiment, and so loved the use of letters to forward a moral view, the Tudor image of Richard III made a near perfect archetype for tyranny.

All things considered this, then, is the extent of propaganda in More’s History. He most certainly did not seek to advocate Henry Tudor or any other king; however his work keeps very close to the Tudor party line. For a renaissance writer of history the past taught moral or spiritual lessons. This was influenced by classical historians such as Tacitus who used past emperors as didactic illustrations, however he did not invent the evils of Gaius and Nero, their lives gave him a ready made template. In England propaganda evidentially grew prior to More commencing his writing, [li] and the propagandist elements of his history can be judged almost unintentional, as it was the image of King Richard known to most of England. With More possessing a deep seated detestation of monarchical tyranny the figure of King Richard III that was present in his time gave him a near perfect archetype for evil; with which he was able to vividly and eloquently craft a warning against the abuse of monarchical power. The only thing that stopped him doing so was the desire not to vindicate the Tudor regime.

The passage of history changes how its authors present it. Renaissance England historians not only recorded the past but used history to teach a moral lesson. Corroborating sources validate the events described in The History of King Richard III as accurate. The Tudor image of Yorkist kings predated More by twenty years and impacted his research into, and presentation of, King Richard, thereby implanting Tudor propaganda in More’s interpretation and presentation of the monarch. More’s work cannot be separated from its similarities to Tudor propaganda. However, when questions of More’s own motives and purposes of history are considered, as well as the influences on his writing, he appears the unintentional propagandist. The villainous picture of Richard III was highly propagated before More set pen to paper, and the story provided a ready made setting for More’s discourse on tyranny. That does not, however, change the content of his work, which Potter is right to correct to label ‘character assassination’, although such an image was not in the service of the Tudor House but rather to forward his own moral purposes.


i Paul Murray Kendall. Richard III. George Allen & Unwin. London. 1955. Throughout it he certainly believes so. In Richard III he defends Richard’s legacy however refers to More as a source frequently. On page 155 he quotes directly from More to describe Edward V’s circumstance as surrounded by Woodvilles.

ii Gordon Zeeveld. A Tudor Defence of Richard III. Modern Language Review. Vol 55 No. 4. 1940. 947.

iii M.A Hicks. Richard III as Duke of Gloucester: A Study in Character. Borthwick Paper Vol. 1 No. 7. 1986. Page 19: One of Richard’s major positive actions was abolishing his brother’s practice of extracting ‘benevolences’ as compulsory ‘gifts’ to the crown to finance wars.

iv The recent historiography of Annette Carson presents a modern defence of Richard, writing of More’s work as ‘fiction’ despite conceding Richard was flawed. While Sean Cunningham emphasises Richard’s traditional flaws conceding that he was a brave and benevolent monarch. Neither take More at his word.

v Keith Dockray Richard III; A Source Book. Sutton Publishing Ltd. United Kingdom. 1997. Page 33

vi Charles Ross. Richard III. Eyre Methuen Ltd. London. Great Britain. 1981. Page 31 Discusses the early partisanship that influences propaganda. Also how this would later influence More’s source material.

vii M.A Hicks; Op. Cit. Page 24

viii Sean Cunningham. Richard III; A Royal Enigma. Texas University Press. 2003. Page 52

ix Jeff Wheeler The Colour of Honesty; Polydore Vergil and the Anglica Historia passim

x Jeff Wheeler. Op. cit Page 3

xi Jeff Wheeler. Op cit. Page 4

xii Polydore Vergil. The Anglica Historia of Polydore Vergil. AD. 1485 – 1537. Translated by Denys Hay. Royal Historical Society. Camden Series. London. 2950. Page 173

xiii Polydore Vergil op cit. Page 144

xiv Thomas More; History of Richard III. Translated by Richard Sylvester. Yale Universtiy Press. 1963. Page 5

xv Stephen Gresham. Op. cit. Page 38

xvi Douglas Walton. What is Propaganda, and What is Exactly Wrong With It? Public Affairs Quarterly. Vol. 11 No. 4. 1997. Page 386

xvii Sean Cunningham Ob Cit Page 7. Medieval superstitions or not, the deformed shoulder may in fact be a result of the military training Richard undertook in his youth. Richard’s skeleton has never been examined, but skeletons of soldiers from the period have often been found with overdeveloped shoulders on their fighting arms.

xviii More for example believes Richard’s usurpation to be the result of a long running conspiracy (Passim) while Vergil writes that he was seized with a desire for the crown on his brother’s death. (Historia. Page 178)

xix More names the day as June 22, it was in fact June 13

xx An Italian cleric in England on a diplomatic mission to England during the six months surrounding Richard’s ascension

xxi C.A.J Armstrong. The Usurpation of Richard III: The Argument. Oxford University Press. 1984. Page 29

xxii Richard Marius. Thomas More. Alfred A Knopf. 1984. Page 120

xxiii Paul Turner. An Introduction to Thomas More’s Utopia. Penguin Books Ltd. Great Britain. 1965. Page 11
xxiv Richard Sylvester. Introduction to Thomas More’s Utopia. Yale University Press. 1976.
xxv Arthur Noel Kincaid. The Dramatic Structure of Sir Thomas More’s ‘History of King Richard III’. Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900. Vol. 12 No. 2. 1972. Passim

xxvi Derek Wilson. Ob Cit. Page 89

xxvii Richard Marius. Ob cit. Page 235

xxviii Derek Wilson. England in the Age of Thomas More. Granada Publishing. 1978. Page 52

xxix Derek Wilson Ob Cit Page 211

xxx Paul Turner. Op cit. Page 23

xxxi Elizabeth Story Donno. Thomas More and Richard III. Renaissance Quarterly. Vol. 35 No. 3. 1983. Page 420

xxxii Erasmus noted in a letter that More at one point took offence at Vergil. Potter argues that History was his revenge.

xxxiii Jeremy Potter. Good King Richard? Assessment of King Richard III and his Reputation 1483 – 1983. Constable. 1983 Page 169

xxxiv Formerly chairman of the ‘Richard III Society’ historically dedicated to clearing King Richard’s name.

xxxv Alfred Leslie Rowse. Bosworth Field and the Wars of the Roses. Macmillain, London. 1966. Page 219

xxxvi Alfred Leslie Rowse. Ob Cit. Passim

xxxvii Winston Churchill. A History of the English Speaking Peoples. Volume One; The Birth of Britain. Easton House. 1956. Page 416

xxxviii Elizabeth Donno. Ob Cit. Page 409

xxxix Van Buran Lamb. The Betrayal of Richard III. Alan Sutton. 1959. Page 78

xl Buck in fact started over a century of historiographical debate as he argued that it was Morton who had ‘made the work’ as too much of its information could only have come from him. This argument has since been discounted.

xli Charles Ross. Ob Cit. Page 264

xlii Richard Marius. Ob Cit. Page 124.

xliii R.W Chambers. More’s ‘History of King Richard III’. The Modern Language Review. Vol. 23 No. 4. 1928. Page 409

xliv Jeremy Potter. Ob Cit. Page 173.

xlv Charles Ross. Ob Cit Page 28

xlvi Beth Marie Kosir. Richard III. A Study in Historiographical Controversy. Milwaukee Universtiy Press. 1997. Page 3

xlvii Elizabeth Story Donno. Ob Cit Page 420

xlviii Richard Marius. Ob Cit. Passit

xlix Richard Sylvester. Ob Cit. Passit

l Both Thomas Howard and his father John Howard fought for Richard at Bosworth, John was killed and Thomas taken prisoner. After the Yorkist defeat he was attainted but forgiven by Henry VII. For the remainder of his life he worked to reclaim the lands he had been stripped of after Bosworth, and may well have found it expedient to toe the party line for such a purpose.

li Sylvester names Pietro Carmeliano and Bernard Andre as two Tudor courtiers who flattered the king with defamations of Richard III


1. Bean, J.M.W. Review; Richard III by Charles Ross. Renaissance Quarterly, vol 38, no 4. (Winter 1985) The Universtiy of Chicago Press.

2. Boatwright, Lesley. Why do we need a Richard III Society? 2008 Accessed 17/11/11 http://www.richardiii.net/r3_introduction.html

3. Burke, Hubert. Historical Portraits of The Tudor Dynasty and The Reformation Period. John Hodges. London. 1881

4. Carr, Edward. What is History? Penguin Books. 1964

5. Chambers, R.W. More’s ‘History of Richard III’. The Modern Language Review. Vol. 23. No. 4. 1928

6. Churchill, Winston. The History of the English Speaking Peoples: Volume 1; The Birth of Britain. The Easton Press. 1956

7. Cunningham, Sean. Professor of the University of Texas. Richard III; A royal enigma. National Archives. 2003.

8. Davis, Samuel. Richard III; The Man and the Myth. Accessed 02/01/12 http://www.richardiii.net/PDFS/samuel%20davis.pdf

9. Dockray, Keith. Richard III; A Source Book. Sutton Publishing Ltd. United Kingdom. 1997

10. Donno, Elizabeth. Thomas More and Richard III. Renaissance Quarterly. Vol 35 No. 3. 1982

11. Gransden, Antonia. St Thomas More: ‘The History of King Richard III’ and Selections from the English and Latin Poems by Richard S. Sylvester. The Modern Language Review. Vol. 74 No. 1. 1979

12. Gresham, Stephen. The Dramaturgy of Tyranny: More’s “Richard III” and Sackville’s “Complaint of Buckingham”. Albion: A Quarterly Journal concerned with British Studies. Vol. 10.. 1978

13. Grudin, Robert. Humanism. Drawn from the Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2008.

14. Hicks, M.A, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Richard III as Duke of Gloucester: A Study in Character. Borthwick Paper No. 70

15. Kendall, Paul. Richard III. George Allen & Unwin. London. 1955

16. Kincaid, Arthur. The Dramatic Structure of Sir Thomas More’s History of King Richard III. Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900. Vol 12. No. 2. 1972

17. Kosir, Beth M. Richard III. A Study of Historiographical Controversy. University Paper from Milwaukee University. 1997

18. Lamb, V.B. The Betrayal of Richard III. Alan Sutton. 1959

19. Mancini, Dominic. The Occupation of the Throne by Richard III. (Also called The Usurpation of Richard III) Translated by C.A.J Armstrong. Alan Sutton Publishing, Oxford University Press. 1984

20. Marius, Richard, Thomas More. Alfred A. Knopf, 1984

21. McCluskey, K. Kings and Queens; 1000 Years of British Royalty. Ticktock books. 2006.

22. More, Thomas. The History of King Richard III. Translated and Published by R.S Sylvester. Yale University Press. 1976. (Originally published 1557)

23. More, Thomas. Utopia (Full title; A Fruitful and Pleasant Work of the Best State of a Public Weal, and of the New Isle Called Utopia). 1516. Translated by Turner, Paul. The Folio Society, W&J Mackay Ltd. Penguin Books Ltd. Great Britain. 1965.

24. Mullet, Charles. Review; Richard III by Charles Ross. The Journal of interdisciplinary History. Vol 14. No. 4 (Spring 1984) MIT Press.

25. Murph, Roxanne C. Richard III; Making of a Legend. Book. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1977

26. Potter, Jeremy. Good King Richard? Assessment of King Richard III and his Reputation ,1483-1983. Constable. 1983

27. Potter, Jeremy. Richard III’s Historians; Adverse and Favorable Views. Text from an exhibition given at the Olivier Theatre in London and at Warwick Castle. 1991

28. Preis, Dorothy. Interviewed by self on 16/01/12

29. Pronay, Nicholas and Cox, James (Translators and editors). The Crowland Chronicle Continuations: 1459-1486. Sutton Publishing. 1986.

30. Ross, Charles. Richard III. Eyre Methuen Ltd. London. Great Britain. 1981

31. Rowse, Alfred Leslie. Bosworth Field and the Wars of the Roses. Macmillan, London. 1966.

32. Schuster, Mary. Philosophy of Life and Prose Style in Thomas More’s Richard III and Francis Bacon’s Henry VII. Modern Language Association. PMLA Vol. 70, No.3. June 1955.

33. Sutton, Ann F. Hammond, P.W. The Coronation of Richard III; the Extant Documents. Book Alan Sutton Publishing Limited. Great Britain. 1983.

34. Turner, Paul. An Introduction to Thomas More’s Utopia. Penguin Books Ltd. Great Britain. 1965.

35. Vergil, Polydore, The Anglica Historia of Polydore Vergil, A.D. 1485-1537 (translated by Denys Hay), Office of the Royal Historical Society, Camden Series, London, 1950.

36. Walton, Douglas. What is Propaganda and What is Exactly Wrong With It? Public Affairs Quarterly. Vol. 11. No. 4. 1997

37. Wilson, Derek. England in the Age of Thomas More. Granada Publishing Ltd. Great Britain. 1978.

38. Wood, Charles. Review; Richard III by Charles Ross. Speculum, vol 59 no. 1 (Jan 1984). Medieval Academy of America.

39. Wheeler, Jeff. The Colour of Honesty: Polydore Vergil and the ‘Anglica Historia’. San Jose State Universtiy. 1996.

40. Zeeveld, Gordon. A Tudor Defence of Richard III. Modern Language Association. Vol. 55. No. 4. 1940

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3 comments so far

Jennifer Bradley

This is a very interesting essay – I hope your marks are commensurate with the work and thought put into it. One aspect that has occurred to me is that More did not intend his “history” to be taken as fact at all. It’s style is somewhat different from his other writings, and there are several interesting possibilities that arise from this. One is that most of the text is in Morton’s words – copied originally by More and added to as satire or a cautionary tale. Henry vii was a mean spirited monarch, with a taste for getting rid of all dissent. I would suggest some of his faults crop up in this portrait of Richard, but where would More have been if he’d criticised a Tudor king?? (We all know what happened when he did.) If More meant it as propaganda, the cautionary tale lessons, as I would describe them, are both incredibly clear, but also avoid the dangers of criticising Henry.

November 7th, 2012 at 15:36
Thomas Layton

For the record, since the unearthing of of Richard’s skeleton and the discovery that he did in fact have scoliosis I feel compelled to leave a comment revising the point made in endnote 17. Scoliosis causes a lateral curve of the spine, meaning the shoulders are lopsided, as More describes them, however based on my discussions with a long time nursing instructor I find that scoliosis does not always cause the pronounced hunch with which Richard is often associated. However I do maintain until further notice the argument that Richard, as a soldier trained from his early years, had largely overdeveloped shoulders, which may well have greatly pronounced his scoliosis.

February 10th, 2013 at 21:41
Lilian Holmwood

An excellent post, congratulations !!

August 2nd, 2020 at 11:01

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