Friday, September 19, 2014

The Strange Death of Richard the Lionhearted

From Nancy Bilyeau:
In the legends of Robin Hood, Richard is a benevolent ruler, who after being freed forgives his brother John and returns to the task of governing England. But Richard had little interest in England his whole life–he is rumored to have said, “If I could have found a buyer, I would have sold London itself”–and was passionate about going on Crusades or fighting for more French territory than he already possessed as the ruler of the Aquitaine.

Richard decided what he needed was an impregnable castle from which to defend Normandy and then retake critical French land. The vast one that he built required two years of punishing around-the-clock labor and cost an estimated £20,000, more than had been spent on any English castle in the last decade. Legend has it that while building the Chateau-Gaillard, Richard and his men were drenched with “rain of blood,” but he refused to take it as an evil omen. (Read more.)

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