The Tudor Roses

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Review of Amy Licence's Talk on Anne Neville: Being Mrs Richard III

On Saturday 5th  October Darren and  I went to Amy Licence’s talk on Anne Neville; it was really nice to be able to go as most talks are during the week and normally not very local to us but this one was just down the road in Whitstable.


This was Amy’s first talk on one of her books but it was a knock out if you ask me. The main focus was Anne Neville but Amy also spoke about Elizabeth Woodville and Elizabeth of York, about their lives as wives, mothers and women in the medieval world they lived in.


Amy started with a section from Shakespeare’s Richard III, Act 1 Scene 2, after which Amy elaborates on how Richard and Anne are portrayed 112 years after both of their deaths, that is not the real Anne and Richard and how they have been moulded into these characters - it is not a portrayal that they themselves would recognise as individuals.


Amy states that the fictional Anne has become the reality over the real person, as the real Anne was widowed at the age of 14, a child by our standard but women in her time. Amy talked about Anne’s relationship with her first husband, her father and Richard, touching on the feelings Anne may have felt. She also suggests that Anne may have seen Richard’s scoliosis developing as he was living with Anne’s family at the time and they would have known each other, growing up together.


Amy's Anne Neville book cover


Details about Richard and Anne’s 13 year marriage and the life they would have had together are discussed and how Richard engineered Anne some of the titles that were bestowed upon her and that Edward IV was happy with them being married. Amy explained how Anne’s reign as queen was in the middle of the two yorkist queens and how their marriages were all different - one married for love or lust, the other for political and dynastic advancement, but Anne’s was for both! Amy asks if any of them were truly happy in their marriages.


Amy went into details about what the lives of these women as queens were really like and how they were expected to act and what the medieval world saw them to be. A queen was still just a woman and a wife in the grand scheme of things.


The talk then moves on to Anne the mother, from which the princes in the tower are mentioned. From here she explained how Richard left Anne’s bed just before Anne died and how it seemed they regularly shared a bed up to this point in time; she points out that Richard was not being heartless when he looked to a new marriage as it was what was done and expected.


Amy finishes with details about Anne’s death and burial and that it was common for the king not to go to the funeral even if it was their wife’s.

Emma and Amy

I shall not tell you anymore as it will spoil the talk for you and I just touch on the basics of it. So if you can get the chance to go make sure you do! It is a very enlightening talk on a woman that has been lost to time and fiction.

Amy does do a question and answer session after the talk where you can discuss further any points you would like clarifying or for you to express your opinions.

Darren and Amy


Amy also let on that she has got some new books coming out and the titles will be Richard III: The Road to Leicester - out in January 2014 - and also in 2014 there will be Cecily Neville: Mother of Kings and The Six Wives and Many Mistresses of Henry VIII.

For more details on Amy and her books see links below

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