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Just about 12 months of concentrated work from start to finish, my new paperback book Domenico Mancini: de occupatione regni Anglie is now in the hands of the distributors:
The price is £10, and I must say a word of kudos to Barnwell Print Ltd., my wonderful printers in Aylsham, Norfolk, who are a joy to work with. Quality and attention to detail are the reason why this is the 4th self-published book I have entrusted to them.
I know only a handful of people will buy this book, so I was tempted to do a comparison of sales of my Richard III series. This is how the numbers stack up as at the end of 2020:
Richard III: The Maligned King = 11,500
Richard III: A Small Guide to the Great Debate = 3,500
Finding Richard III: The Official Account = approx 5,000
Richard Duke of Gloucester as Lord Protector and High Constable = 850
Some of them are rather niche interest, but overall that's around 20,000 books, all of which have had something new to say about King Richard. What next, I wonder?
At last, after a year working in lockdown, I am looking forward to delivery of my new edition of Mancini next week. While the solitude enabled me to master such a challenging task, the state of the publishing industry has shown me what a bad moment I chose! Sadly I can no longer fulfil customer purchases of books from home – but at least it will be available on Amazon. Please check my ‘Ricardian Topics’ page for a few pointers to why I think anyone interested in Richard III will find this edition worth its small place on their bookshelf.
In the light of Tim Thornton’s recent claims relating to allegations made by Thomas More, I must start by saying I have never remotely considered taking Thomas More seriously as a historian of King Richard III, and nor would anyone who has read Richard Sylvester’s masterly analysis. But I do take him seriously as a religious fanatic who didn’t stop at condemning respectable people to hideous punishments. I hope the fate of the innocent merchant tailor Richard Hunne will never be forgotten. The rough outline goes like this (but check it for yourself): Hunne brought a lawsuit because his local church was seeking to charge him exorbitant mortuary fees. Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall, a friend of More’s, excommunicated Hunne, charged him with heresy and threw him into his (the bishop’s) prison where he was murdered. This is how More’s biographer Richard Marius, bending over backwards to exonerate his subject, explains More’s defence of Tunstall in the face of clear evidence that Hunne was killed (p.140): “In More’s view, heretics were such demonic people that it was fair to believe anything bad about them, no matter how outrageous. More presents us with a Richard Hunne so depressed at being found out that he killed himself, and so depraved that he tried to make his suicide look like murder.” How can you accept the testimony of a man like More who will make up a lie to deny justice to an innocent man? Let us ask ourselves how many other men’s names and reputations were blackened by this man’s connivance ... just because he could.
Great news! I've just heard from the USA-based League of WW1 Aviation Historians that I have won the 2019 Thornton B. Hooper Award for Excellence in Aviation History in the Best Biography class. I wish I could say they’ve given this award to my book Camel Pilot Supreme: Captain DV Armstrong DFC, but actually it’s for a biographical piece about Captain Armstrong I contributed to their magazine 'Over the Front' published last Autumn. It comes hot on the heels of a really heartwarming book review by fellow aviation historian Alex Henshaw, who knows a thing or two about the air history of the Great War. I'll try to take a scan and post Alex's review on my DV Armstrong page. Just the pick-me-up needed on this wet and windy weekend.