I am a Ricardian. I am proud to be one of Richard III’s loyal advocates, trying to clear his name from the calumny with which Henry Tudor tainted him. I wanted to DO something, something special, and so I decided to write a novel about him. A different type of novel, set in the twenty first century, with a Richard who comes forward in time to learn of his fate at Bosworth, research it and try to go back to change it. Bosworth – it always comes back to what happened that day! If only Richard had got to Henry! If only he hadn’t charged! If only he had taken a horse and fled, to fight again another day! How different our history might have been with Good King Richard on the throne. Sigh!
But how could he best research Bosworth in our time? I thought the perfect way would be to take part in the re-enactment of the Battle so I researched it, as I had never been to one. I met a re-enactor and he told me I should talk to Destrier. Destrier, named after the great war-horses that fought as hard as their riders, are the group who provide all the mounted re-enactors for Bosworth, other battle re-enactments and jousting tournaments around the country.
So I emailed the head of Destrier and he was so kind – he answered all my questions and helped me no end. I worked and worked and got the novel completed, self-published and doing well.
Then I had the chance to go to my first re-enactment – and it was Bosworth! I took along some copies of my book and when I heard that my Destrier advisor was taking part, I decided to present him with a copy. But I didn’t know what he looked like! How could I find him? I realised that any of the Destrier people would know him, so I asked the first one I saw.
“Yes, he is over there wearing the Royal Standard,” he said.
I looked over and saw the man, standing in his tent, ready to take part – as King Richard! He looked very regal and I was a little nervous as I approached him, but I needn’t have worried – he was very kind and listened as I explained my quest and offered him my book, my book that I had poured my heart and soul into. He looked into my eyes, his gaze piercing and his eyes the most brilliant blue, seeming to see inside my soul and, smiling, thanked me for the book. I had the irrational urge to kneel before him – it must have been because he was dressed as the King, wearing the Standard, and I managed to resist, leaving him to prepare for the ‘battle’.
I watched with some trepidation, enthralled but sad. And then something odd happened. The weather had been sunny all day, despite rain having been forecast for late morning. It was now late afternoon and still hot, until ‘Richard’ rode out to join battle and it began to rain – softly at first then heavier, until at the point when our King was ‘killed’, there came a huge clap of thunder! Was it a sign from above?
I couldn’t forget the man’s eyes, so blue, so intelligent and so regal; so I looked him up on-line after I got home. I found him, the man I had seen in the Royal tent, there were even some pictures of him as Richard. It was definitely him. But, something strange, he looked subtly different, and his eyes were brown, not blue…
Postscript: On looking through my photos of the day, I found some I’d taken of a mother and baby pony, in a field outside Sutton Cheney Church – the baby had one blue and one brown eye.
About the author
Joanne published her first novel, Richard Liveth Yet, in 2015. She has now completed two sequels, making Richard Liveth Yet a trilogy – a sort of ‘Back to the Future’ with Richard III!Then she was approached by Susan Lamb, another Ricardian author, to collaborate on a humorous collection of anecdotes about Richards’s escapades at his castle of ‘Muddleham’, along with his wife Anne, his son Edward and his friend Lovell, among many others. The book, Dickon’s Diaries, is not to be taken seriously and a taste of the humour in it can be found on their Facebook Page, Dickon for his Dames: https://www.facebook.com/Dickiethird/
More recently one of Joanne’s Ricardian short stories, ‘Repercussions‘, was accepted into an anthology of scary stories,’The Box Under the Bed‘, edited by Dan Alatorre.
Find and follow Joanne
Books by Joanne Larner – available via Amazon
What if time could be manipulated so that someone could travel into the future? What if that someone were Richard III, King of England, who died at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485? And what if he could learn what happened and go back to fight the battle again…with the benefit of hindsight? This is the story of his quest to do just that while trapped in a modern world in which everything is terrifying and strange.
Rose is desperately in love with Richard, but not only is he way out of her league (he is the King of England), he is married to someone else and living over five hundred years in the past. But Rose won’t let such trivialities stop her seeing him again and, enlisting the help of a Wiccan friend, she casts a spell to make him return to her…but things don’t turn out quite how she planned and she finds herself stranded in a violent and foreign land: THE PAST…
Richard has been King of England and France and Lord of Ireland for over twenty years and he is beginning to question his life. He misses his secret wife, Rose, who had to return to the twenty-first century when she found she was expecting twins, both for her own and the babies’ safety. Everyone around the king seems to be happily in a relationship. The realm is at peace and his son and heir, Richard junior, is of an age to take over the reins of government, so Richard makes a decision…
Dickon’s Diaries: A Yeare in the Lyff of King Richard the Third
With Susan K Lamb and illustrated by Riikka Nikko
Deare Dames and loyalle Subjectes, hear ye this! ‘Tis your Liege Lord and Sovereign King, Ricardus Rex Tertius, but ye have Oure permission to calle Us Dickon, for We are a right generous and kinde prince and We knoweth ye loveth Us right welle (especially ye Dames). We hath been keepyng Oure own personall diary, a diary whyche telleth of Oure lyff here at Muddleham and ye adventures of Us, Oure wyff, Anne, the Quene and Oure loyalle and trustie friend and servaunt, Francis Lovell. We hath wryttn down alle Oure thoughts and anecdotes for your pleasure. We know ye follow Us on Ye Booke of Faces and enjoy Oure wordes of wisdom, so now can ye owne a whole booke of them. And, We hope ye shalle agree, right entertainyng it is, by Oure troth. Let not any saye your King is not a generous and kindlie monarch! Now readeth ye on!