I just want to see more black girls in period pieces, I wanna see black women as queen dripping in diamonds and fancy dresses. I want them have making dramatic entrances and running around castles and shit I WANT MOR BLACK WOMEN IN PERIOD PIECES DAMNIT
Innocents licking the clouds
Through the silence was heard a magnificent wind
That raged across the horizon
Our love started with a wink and ended in shame
Your heart is crocheting tangible dreams
Lost in the temple of the Holy Ghost
Behold the grudge in this temples of necrophiliac lust
There are skeletons sexting in roses beds
Irises bones caressing your mouth you vomit offensive cum
Queen blood dripping across the guillotine
Innocents hanged above the clouds
Support Group for People Unfairly Maligned in Historical Fiction
Edward II: Greetings, everyone! I’m Edward of Caernarfon, as you probably all know - do feel free to call me Ned - and I’m your moderator for this, the second meeting of all of us unfortunate historical folks maligned in fiction of the twenty-first century. We’re here to share our pain, and to share the sillinesses perpetuated about us written hundreds of years after our deaths. I’ll get us started. As well as all the unfair and wildly untrue things about me I shared at our last meeting, there’s some new stuff. According to one novelist, I react to things by ‘snivelling’ and am a coward who runs away from the battlefield of Bannockburn and is too afraid to fight, even though in reality I had to be dragged protesting from the field and fought 'like a lioness deprived of her cubs’ right in the thick of battle.
Piers Gaveston: Pretty damn sure I never saw you snivel, Ned. I bet the terribly heterosexual manly hero Roger Mortimer doesn’t 'snivel’ in that novel, eh?
Edward II: Damn right, he doesn’t. That same novel also accuses me of cowardice because I don’t beat up my wife, which was a real lolwut?? moment, I tell you.
Margaret Beaufort: May I have the floor, Ned? I, apparently, am a religious maniac with a weirdly anachronistic Joan of Arc fetish - why? I mean, why?! - which I have to talk about every five minutes. I mysteriously forget that I’m the countess of Richmond all the time. But worst of all by far, I’m meant to have had Edward IV’s two sons murdered in the Tower of London so that my own son Henry Tudor could become king. Because obviously I knew that Richard III’s son would conveniently die young a few months later and clear the path to the throne, and I could stroll in and out of the most fortified and well-guarded stronghold in the country and murder two princes without anyone noticing. Yup. Invisible Superwoman, that’s me.
Edward II: That’s awful, Margaret! You mean people are willing to accuse you of the cold-blooded murder of children when there isn’t the tiniest shred of evidence whatsoever?
Margaret Beaufort: Indeed there are, plenty of them. There are also people on modern social media who call me a 'snake’ and express a wish that I’d died in childbirth and my son with me. I was thirteen at the time. Yes, there really are people out there who wish a thirteen-year-old had suffered a painful death in childbirth. It seems that they forget we were human beings with feelings too.
George, duke of Clarence: Hey, everyone! Talking about blatant ways of making us appear really unlikeable and horrible, I’d like to protest at the way novelists in the twenty-first century portray me as this ridiculously one-dimensional alcoholic wife-beater. That’s all there ever was to me, apparently. Alcoholism. And wife-beating. I never even laid a finger on Isabel!
Henry VII: There’s this one novel where my mother Margaret Beaufort - who just hasn’t been maligned enough, apparently - tells me to rape my fiancée Elizabeth of York before we marry to make sure that she can become pregnant. If she can’t, I’m to marry her sister Cecily instead. Still trying to figure that one out - am I supposed to go through all the sisters until I find one who gets pregnant and then marry her? Just so darn weird.
Elizabeth of York: Wait, let me see that one! Oh yeah, I remember now, the novel where I spend half the time mooning over my lost uncle Richard III, who I was totally in love with, allegedly, and refer to constantly as 'my lover’. My uncle. There is not enough eeeewwwww in my vocabulary.
Henry VII: I’m depicted as this pathetic little mummy’s boy half the time. And I’ve been trying to block the horror of it out of my mind, but there’s another novel that has me - get this, folks - drinking the blood of young men. Like wuuuuuuh?
Elizabeth of York: I don’t know.
Edward II: You don’t know what?
Elizabeth of York: I don’t know what I don’t know. I don’t know anything. Say anything to me and I’ll reply that I don’t know.
Elizabeth Woodville: Hey, everyone, did you know I’m a witch? Witch witch witch. Who makes witchy things happen all the witching time. Because I’m a witch. A witchy witch who does lots of witchy things. On every witchy page of the witchy novel about how I’m a witch.
Anne Neville: I’m getting pretty annoyed with the way I’m almost always depicted as terribly frail, to the point where I faint or collapse about every five minutes. Yes, I died young, but that doesn’t mean I’d been a permanent invalid all my life, people! Yeesh, it’d be great to have someone write me as though I had an actual backbone and some personality, instead of as this weak feeble fainting little…thing.
Edward of Lancaster: True, and it’d be nice if someone would acknowledge that you didn’t necessarily spend your entire marriage to me weeping and wailing over Richard of Gloucester.
Anne Neville: I did a little bit at first maybe, just a tiny little bit, but I soon got used to the idea of being queen of England one day. That was pretty cool. Something else modern novelists never seem to realise about me is that maybe I had a bit of ambition and quite fancied being a queen!
Edward of Lancaster: Yeah, we kind of got used to being married to each other and didn’t mind it at all, did we? And you know, it’s so unfair when a throwaway bravado comment you make when you’re still practically a child is then used for the next half a millennium as though it represents the sum total of your personality and is constantly used to present you as a sadistic murderous psychopath. Modern people, would you like it if someone took one of your sulky adolescent pronouncements as though it’s representative of your entire life and attitudes?
Henry VI: And when one remark by one visitor to England, simply reporting a rumour he had heard that I supposedly said that my son Edward was fathered by the Holy Ghost, is taken that my son absolutely must have been fathered by someone else other than me. As though my wife Margaret of Anjou isn’t maligned enough!
Margaret of Anjou: Oh, you mean I actually have a name? Like seriously? I thought I was just called 'the bad queen’. Voice dripping with sarcasm here.
Elizabeth of York: I don’t know.
Edward II: Afraid we’re running out of time and will have to wrap this up now, folks! Hope you all feel somewhat better after getting this rubbish off your chests, and take care until the next meeting of the Support Group for People Maligned in Historical Fiction! Goodnight!
- Kathryn Warner from her blog edwardthesecond.blogspot.com (excepts about the Wars of The Roses historical fiction)