Virginie Girod SEASON 2023 - 202417h22, November 10, 2023

Listen to the second part of the story dedicated to the life of William Shakespeare narrated by Virginie Girod. After the success of his play on Henry IV, the playwright embarked on a vast saga. William Shakespeare finds the subject once again in history! He chose the Wars of the Roses, a civil war between the royal house of Lancaster (the red rose) and the royal house of York (the white rose) that tore England apart in the 16th century.

Henry IV installed the Lancastrian dynasty on the throne of England. Shakespeare dedicated a play to each of his successors, Henry V and Henry VI. In the trilogy on the latter, we even meet a famous French protagonist: Joan of Arc! In the real story, Henry VI descends into madness. His wife Margaret of Anjou and Richard of York ruled when the king was no longer able to do so. Richard of York wasted no time in removing Margaret of Anjou from power. This is how the supporters of the Yorks and the supporters of the ruling Lancasters found themselves on the battlefield in May 1455. After multiple twists and turns. Edward IV, of the York family, took power between 1461 and 1483.

Shakespeare's masterpiece can enter the stage. This is Richard III, of course, THE great villain of the theatre. Duke of Gloucester and brother of Edward IV, he wanted to seize power. But in order to take him, he must get rid of his brother and nephews. When his brother died, he had his successors locked up in the Tower of London and became king. Richard III's cruelty caused discontent throughout the kingdom and the aristocrats sought a rival in the person of a descendant of the Lancastrians, Henry Tudor. He faced Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth, which he triumphed over. The last words of the defeated sovereign are known to all: "A horse! My kingdom for a horse." With the accession of Henry Tudor to power, who married Elizabeth of York, it was the end of the Wars of the Roses.

For his part, after more than thirty plays and several dozen poems, William Shakespeare retired to his hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon at the age of 46. He died six years later, although it is not known whether he was aware of the genius of the plays that are still applauded today.

Topics covered: theatre, Shakespeare, Wars of the Roses, Richard III

"At the Heart of History" is a Europe 1 Studio podcast

- Presenter: Virginie Girod

- Producer: Camille Bichler

- Directed by: Pierre Cazalot

- Composition of the original music: Julien Tharaud

- Writing and distribution: Nathan Laporte

- Communication: Kelly Decroix

- Visual: Sidonie Mangin

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