Five years ago… The impact of King Richard’s discovery

Well, this has been an interesting week!
Not only a nice upturn in sales, and the *big* news about ‘The Order of the White Boar’ being stocked in the King Richard Visitor Centre, but I’ve also just been contacted by the BBC!
In advance of the fifth anniversary of the confirmation that King Richard’s grave had been discovered (yes, can you believe it? it’s been five years!), BBC Nottingham are putting together an article about people ‘who have been influenced by the discovery’.
It’s safe to say that definitely includes me! And, I suspect, very many of you… I wonder what and who will be included? 🤔
Though I had long intended to write about King Richard, it was definitely the excitement when his grave was discovered that finally gave me the push I needed to get on with it. And by then, I had settled on writing for children rather than adults (being in the middle of my second novel for kids aged 10+), and it didn’t take me long to discover there was no book then on the market telling the story of the real King Richard for that age group. (It’s strange to me that, five years later, ‘The Order’ is still the only one – I expected publishers to jump straight on to that boat, given the buzz that surrounded the news…)
When the discovery of a grave at Greyfriars was first publicized in September 2012, I held my breath, not daring to believe it could be him and waiting until the DNA results would be available. When the date for the second press conference was announced, rationally I knew there could only be one outcome, but still I waited, counting down the days until 4th February. Then, with a global audience of millions, I too was mesmerized as it was slowly revealed that the grave was, ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, that of the King.

(The Looking for Richard Project team, David and Wendy Johnson, Philippa Langley and John Ashdown-Hill  (Annette Carson not present) at the Greyfriars site, Picture @Philippa Langley)

Within a week, I had ‘met’ Matthew Wansford – then an angry old man, sick of all the lies told about King Richard after his death – and written the very first part of the book – a prologue that no longer appears in the final version. But Matthew had been ‘born’ and it set the scene for what was to become ‘The Order of the White Boar’ and ‘The King’s Man.
It took a while to get all his adventures while in Richard’s service down on paper, but I did finally get there – and now have the third book to push on with. And having made a start on this interesting journey that is self-publishing (and self-marketing – never easy for me!), I can certainly say the Looking for Richard Project and that unique event in February 2013 has had ‘an impact’ on my life (as the journalist put it).
How about you? Do tell! 🙂

Alex Marchant is author of two books telling the story of the real King Richard III for children aged 10+, The Order of the White Boaand The King’s Man, and editor of Grant Me the Carving of My Name and Right Trusty and Well Beloved…, two anthologies of short fiction inspired by the king, sold in support of Scoliosis Association UK (SAUK). 

Alex’s books can be found on Amazon at: 

My Facebook author page 

My Twitter handle  and Matthew Wansford’s

About alexmarchantblog

A Ricardian since a teenager, and following stints as an archaeologist and in publishing, Alex now lives and works in King Richard’s own country, not far from his beloved York and Middleham
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1 Response to Five years ago… The impact of King Richard’s discovery

  1. Pingback: Seven years ago today… the great reveal of King #RichardIII – and a great deal of inspiration! | The Order of the White Boar

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