Ten years after Henry's death Edward is taken fatally ill, speeding Richard's disposal of their brother George, Duke of Clarence. Made regent to Edward's young son, also Edward, Richard is cursed by the vengeful Margaret of Anjou but nonetheless embarks on a ruthless policy to acquire the crown, disposing of cousins Rivers and Grey and engineering the deaths of the young prince and his brother . This final act loses him the support of his former ally Buckingham, who also comes to an untimely end. Richard is declared king with the widowed lady Anne as his reluctant queen but there are many in the realm seeking to depose him, notably young Henry Tudor, who will meet with Richard at the decisive battle of Bosworth Field.
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Did You Know?
Since the play was written, new information has come to light concerning the historical Richard III. Firstly, though he did suffer from scoliosis (curvature of the spine) he was not hunchbacked or otherwise severely misshapen. Likewise the claim that he was born with a full set of teeth has no basis in fact. These were most likely rumors started by the Tudors to demonize the king they overthrew in order to claim the throne which got mixed up with the truth over the years. Historians remain divided as to his character, though it is widely believed that he did not commit murder as wantonly or eagerly as depicted in the play. Again, his political enemies painted him as a villain and that is the image that has survived. See more