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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: June ::
Re: William Catesby/Richard III
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1531  Thursday, 20 June 2002

[1]     From:   Mary-Anne King <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 19 Jun 2002 17:37:37 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1525 William Catesby/Richard III

[2]     From:   Kenneth Meaney <
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        Date:   Thursday, 20 Jun 2002 11:09:16 +0300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1525 William Catesby/Richard III


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary-Anne King <
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Date:           Wednesday, 19 Jun 2002 17:37:37 -0700
Subject: 13.1525 William Catesby/Richard III
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1525 William Catesby/Richard III

Simplistically put: Shakespeare's Richard is pure fiction. He lived in
Tudor times and his life would have been on the line if he made Richard
too sympathetic.  In fact, glorifying Henry 7 probably gained him some
points and justified the Tudor succession. Holinshed was a Tudor
historian so his accuracy is suspect.

On this Holinshed was right: William Catsby was real. Without going back
to my resources (one being Paul Murray Kendell's Richard the Third) and
not having been into the Richard the Third Society in many years, I
can't remember anything about him. Sorry.

Richard did not have a hump on his back, a withered arm. One shoulder
may have been higher.  He was a soldier and fit. He was the last King of
England to fight in battle.

When I saw Richard 3 (Olivier's) the first time, I was so into the
Society and so self-righteous about it, that I was appalled by the "evil
Richard" disgusted by the posturing soliloquies of the duplicitous
Clarence, and horrified by the glorifying of sidewinding Henry Tudor.
However, age mellows us and besides it IS the funniest history and damn
good drama.

His Richard is delightful and revels in his wickedness. His relationship
with Buckingham is deliciously evil -  it's one of my favorite plays;
but it's fiction loosely based on fact.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth Meaney <
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Date:           Thursday, 20 Jun 2002 11:09:16 +0300
Subject: 13.1525 William Catesby/Richard III
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1525 William Catesby/Richard III

Sophie Masson asks:

>Does anyone know if the William Catesby who is one of Richard's men in
>Richard III was mentioned in Holinshed as being part of the entourage of
>the king? Or is his name simply pucked from WS' memory of the Catesbys
>of Lapworth Hall, whom he knew? (And Robin Catesby, the Elizabethan
>William Catesby's son, grew up of course to become one of the primary
>architects of the Gunpowder Plot).

Of course Shakespeare got the name from Holinshed:

Yet the wild worme of vengeance wauering in his head, could not be
content
with the death of diuerse gentlemen suspected of treason; but also he
must
extend his bloudie furie against a poore gentleman called Callingborne,
for
making a small rime of three of his vnfortunate councellors, which were
the
lord Louell, sir Richard Ratcliffe his mischeeuous minion, and sir
William
Catesbie his secret seducer, which meeter or rime was thus framed:

The Cat, the Rat, and Louell our dog,
Rule all England vnder an hog.

Meaning by the hog, the dreadfull wild boare, which was the king
cognisance. But bicause the first line ended in dog, the metrician could
not (obseruing the regiments of meeter) end the second verse in boare,
but
called the boare an hog. This poeticall schoolemaister, corrector of
breefs
and longs, caused Collingborne to be abbreuiated shorter by the head,
and
to be diuided into foure quarters.

(text published by the Richard III society:
http://www.r3.org/intro.html)

Ken Meaney

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