Sunday, March 16, 2008

Anne Neville, Queen to Richard III, and Happy Birthday to My Daughter

Poor Anne Neville! I've been looking around the Web today to find a mention that today is the 523rd anniversary of her death on March 16, 1485, but haven't found anything, not even on Ricardian sites. So I thought I'd give her at least a quick mention here.

Perhaps the reason the anniversary of Anne's death received so little attention is that so little is known of Anne herself. Unlike her predecessors, Margaret of Anjou and Elizabeth Woodville, she has come in for little criticism; unlike her successor, the well-liked if not particularly influential Elizabeth of York, she has come in for little praise. Almost nothing is known of her personality. Nonetheless, she has been the heroine of numerous historical novels. Perhaps it's because so little is known about her that she makes for such fertile material: an author can make of her what he or she wishes. Her life, of course, is also stuff for the imagination. What did she think of her father's grand ambitions, her marriage to Margaret of Anjou's son, her mother's disinheritance, her marriage to Richard, Duke of Gloucester, her husband Richard's seizure of the crown? Probably we shall never know.

March 16, though, is a happy day in our household, because it's on that day fifteen years ago that I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Happy birthday, Bethany!

8 comments:

Lady D. said...

Great post Susan - I'd forgotten about Anne too!

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your daughter! Hope she has a really great day (and you, too - as it is also your 'birthing day'! :-)

Alianore said...

Happy (belated) birthday to Anne, and especially to Bethany!

Judy said...

Anne is typical of medieval heiresses - we don't know much about her, and she was basically a political pawn. What did she think? An important conjecture.

An interesting note from Michael Hicks - the Gloucester couple did not have the proper dispensations for their union. Also, one of Richard's bastards was born after the marriage, whatever that implies.

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Mimi said...

Happy Birthday to your daughter!

And, Memory Eternal to Anne.

Carla said...

Happy birthday to your daughter!

Susan Higginbotham said...

Thanks, all (on behalf of my daughter, who's been practicing today to have her learner's driving permit picture taken)! Judy--thanks for stopping by! I enjoyed your comments on your blog about Henry VI.

Lynn Irwin Stewart said...

A little late but happy birthday to Bethany!

I would love to know what the relationship was like between Anne and Richard. Well, we can always hope that something turns up that's never been seen before which can give us some insights.

One of Richard's bastards was born after the marriage? Is this the supposed third one -- or one of the others (who I thought came before)?

Gabriele C. said...

Happy birthday, Bethany.