Fact & Fiction: The White Princess, Episode 1

Since Starz announced this production, I have waffled between anticipation and dread. The former because I appreciate new costume dramas centered on the lesser-known Tudors; and the latter, because I’ve read Philippa Gregory’s book series. She’s a talented enough writer that her “historical slander” passes for the truth – and she maligns reputations, turning decent …

An Illusion of Virtue

Fiction can be more society shaping than fact, particularly where historical figures are involved. Ask anyone on the street their impression of Henry VIII, and most impressions will come not from historical documentation but popular fictionalized representations of a larger than life tyrant. Perhaps the most accessible contributor to Henry’s maligned reputation comes from The …

Can We Trust History?

“Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer by this son of York.” —Shakespeare’s Richard The Third In historical research, you look at events from as many sides as possible, and place eyewitness accounts into context by being aware of the circumstances in which the events took place, and who is recording …