Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Twitter Ye Not - The War of the Roses

Twitter Ye Not - The War of the Roses

A regular piece for a certain national newspaper about how figures in history might have twittered or tweeted or whatever, had they the chance, inclination and technology.

On 22 May 1455 Richard of York led his troops against an increasingly demented Henry VI at the Battle of St Albans, the first sally in the War of the Roses. The Twitter feed of that fateful weekend has recently been discovered.

I have shown mad Henry VI standing in his tent at St Albans pretending to be a hat-stand (well, he is demented) whilst on the other side of the image advances Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and claimant to Henry's throne. Dick wears a tunic bearing his arms and carries a shield showing his family badge or crest, the white falcon (or eagle) of the Plantagenets. Above Henry is the red rose of the House of Lancaster, above Richard's head can be seen the white rose of York - two branches of the Plantagenet line, both with claims to the English throne (there's no Britain at this point!).

Richard won the battle but never made it to King (he did indeed do battle in vain, as the rainbow sequence mnemonic has it), although two of his sons,Edward IV and Richard III (A Horse! A Horse! My Kingdom for a Horse!) both did. He was slain at the Battle of Wakefield, from whence his head was taken and placed upon the walls of York city, wearing a paper crown.

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