Richard III's Tragic Queen
- Amy Licence
15th April 2014
Shakespeare's enduring image of Richard III's queen is one of bitterness and sorrow. Anne curses the killer of her husband and father, before succumbing to his marriage proposal, bringing to herself a terrible legacy of grief and suffering an untimely death. Was Anne a passive victim? Did she really jump into bed with the enemy?
Myths aside, who was the real Anne? As the Kingmaker's daughter, she played a key role in his schemes for the throne. Brought up in the expectation of a glorious marriage, she was not the passive, manipulated pawn of romantic legend; in fact, she was a pragmatist and a survivor, whose courage and endurance were repeatedly pushed to the limit. In 1483 Anne found herself catapulted into the public eye and sitting on the throne beside Richard. The circumstances of their reign put unprecedented pressure on their marriage; amid rumours of affairs and divorce, Anne died mysteriously, during an eclipse of the sun, just weeks before Richard's death on the battlefield. This fascinating and elusive woman is shrouded in controversy and unanswered questions.
Amy Licence reassesses the longstanding myths about Anne's role, her health and her marriages, to present a new view of the Kingmaker's daughter.