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!