When I was a child I loved the TV series about Richard the Lionheart. I saw myself as a dashing knight, righting wrongs, travelling in the King’s entourage and maybe even joining him in a song.
Years later I was delighted when I walked into a theatre bar in Nottingham and saw Dermot Walsh, the actor who played Richard. I spoke to him and we had a drink and a chat together. We didn’t do any jousting but he was just the king I could be happy with.
Today is Richard’s birthday. I’ve been reading a lot about him for my novel which is set in the years before the Third Crusade. History has been kind to him and legend even more so. I think that were you a humble person you stood a much better chance of getting justice from the much reviled King John than from his heedless, war-hungry older brother.