I was really looking forward to watching the new series of David Starkey's "Monarchy" on telly tonight. He's got up to the Wars of the Roses now, and the rest of the series is going to cover the Tudor period. This should be right up my street, as it was my specialist subject at University (I got a BA in Modern European and Renaissance History, and an MA in Medieval Studies). The dissertation I submitted for my Masters degree rejoiced in the title "Historical Precedent and the Deposition of Henry VI", and examined the role of Parliament in the deposition of Henry VI, trying to compare it with the removals of Richard II and Edward II, attempting to demonstrate the increasing power of Parliament and the growth of a constitutional monarchy.
Sounds great, eh? And the good news is that it's available to you from the University of York library.... don't all rush.
Now the programme is on though, I'm finding that I just can't be arsed with it. All very interesting, but a whistlestop tour (with dramatic reconstructions!) through something that I studied in some depth for 4 years is turning out not to be very enlightening.
I suppose my memory must have been better than I thought. I can't even be bothered to take issue on anything with David "media historian, never written a serious academic book" Starkey. Maybe I'll go and cook my tea and listen to The Arcade Fire instead.
My dissertation is on the bookshelf next to me, actually. Hang on a sec [reaches up for it].
Oh Good Grief.
It was only 10 years ago, but somehow I can only see myself writing this as though though a glass darkly. It was a very different me, that's for sure.
Here's a bit of the conclusion:
"Was it not the duty of a king to provide his subjects with law and justice, and also to protect his inheritance? These were the claims that had been made by the opponents of both Edward II and Richard II, and now they were made against Henry VI. These claims were not made by Edward IV specifically to draw parallels between Henry VI and Edward II and Richard II. Rather these claims reflected the political ideals of the realm of England. To fail in these ideals was to fail as king, and to fail as a king justified deposition. In this way, just as they had done in 1327 and 1399, the polity of the parliament of 1461 acquiesced to the deposition of its king."
Still, I'm not such a pompous arse now, eh?