Monday, August 22, 2011

Twitter Ye Not - Richard the Lionheart

Twitter Ye Not - Richard the Lionheart

A regular piece for the Daily Mail Weekend magazine about how figures in history might have twittered or tweeted or whatever, had they the chance, inclination and technology.

On the 3rd September 1189 Richard the Lionheart was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey. We imagine the Twitter feed from that historic day.

Richard I, known as Lionheart (or Coeur de Lion in french) on account of his bravery in battle, was the son of Henry II and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, and great-grandson of William the Conquerer (aka William the Bastard). He is described as being of quick-temper, tall and handsome, with red or blond hair and furious grey eyes. Quite a hottie then.

On the downside Richard is tarred with episodes of violence against Jews, and of course with the Third Crusade (hence the stone Cross in my image). Raised in France and speaking no English, during his ten year reign Richard spent less than 6 months on English soil, claiming that it was 'cold and always raining'. Cheeky sod! Sometimes we have 'cold and windy' too! Richard spent most of his time in the Holy Land (fighting Saracens) or at the French Court - he is rumoured to have had an affair with King Philip II of France. Oh la la.

Coeur de Lion, as the name of a small English apple, was corrupted to Codlin, a common word until the middle of the last century.

A bat flew around Richard's head at his coronation apparently, but sadly I didn't know that at the time or I'd have snuck a little pipistrelle into my image!

On the other side, in front of the famous Oak that bears his name, stands Robin Hood, aka Robin of Locksley, out-law hero of Sherwood Forest. He's clearly a big fan of Richard (but then he did have to deal with Richard's evil and scheming brother John, so fair enough). I have based him on Errol Flynn.

I know a great story about Flynn, a towel and a salami, but regrettably its too blue for an open, family-friendly website like this!

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