Saturday, 15 October 2016


COME, LITTLE CHILDREN. This dark, haunting poem by Edgar Allan Poe was used as a song, with a few words changed for the kiddies, in the 1993 movie HOCUS POCUS. I found this eerie cover on youtube by Gothgamo8/katethegreat. It reminded me very much of the wintry, unnatural world of MY NAME IS NOT MIDNIGHT, where the children are brainwashed into believing the lies of the Sestren, the teachers and their cruel masters, who secretly lead them to doom--the mass sacrifice known as the Feast... (MY NAME IS NOT MIDNIGHT-DYSTOPIAN FANTASY AVAILABLE ON AMAzON IN KINDLE/PRINT! free with KU, .99 kindle edition)



video link

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Shakespearean myth...and Richard III's back. Again.

It certainly has been the year for Shakespeare. No sooner was Cumberbatch's gurning  gorefest out of the way, than we were on to a  Ralph Fiennes version at the Almeida theatre. Once again, we were treated to the trotted out statement 'we've made his back look just like the real Richard's.'
Although not as alien-grotesque as the ludicrous prosthetic in Hollow Crown, the Almeida production also  did NOT show his back 'as it was';in both recent version the curvature was on the WRONG SIDE OF THE BODY, the left instead of the right, following the tale of Thomas More (and who knows, More's error may have been deliberate...another story!)
The Fiennes version, while I am sure it is brilliantly acted, having seen him play Hamlet, also has new additions of suggested sexual violence, which I find slightly repugnant as that 'charge' is not something ever levelled at RIII. What irritates me most is that the publicists almost seem to be implying that this version is somehow more 'real' because of some added prosthetics  and this bit of brand new rapey 'edginess.' Well, if you want it to be more 'real' maybe you should choose an actor the same age as Richard  III and not one old enough to be his father...and get rid of the withered arm myth and the limp,both of which are now discredited.
   It made me think about how, even today, some seem to still be 'shaming' someone for a physical condition and believing that because old Shaky was correct that Richard had a spinal condition (although  this was exaggerated to pantomime proportions for drama's sake!), it means everything else he wrote was also somehow 'true.' Shakespeare was not a historian...he was a playwright for Pete's sake, making drama for his audience! Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall was a brilliant book of the Tudor era...but it's not non-fiction. Same with Shakespeare. Why does that seem hard for some to understand?
  I have lost track of how many articles I've seen saying 'Shakespeare was right' since Richard's remains were discovered in 2012. It can make me a bit crazy at times lol.
  These articles  were all relating to Richard's  spine of course. Whether people were being deliberately obtuse or not, I can't  say, but I think most of us, being supposedly better educated and more understanding than our forebears, realise that scoliosis and kyphosis are not the same thing. Sure, no one could have really told the difference back in Richard's time, but the difference is could be hidden with clothes, while the other far less likely. One would not have impeded the wearing of armour; the other, with its often forward leaning neck, would have been a real problem.
 No contemporary ever mentioned Richard's scoliosis; the first mentions were some years after his death, with Rous, who had seen him, saying 'his right shoulder was higher than the left.' When Richard was a young man of 18, in his first battles, he was called  'a young Hector'  in a poem praising the victory of Edward IV and his army. No mention of any deformity or surprise that he could fight so well with an obvious 'disability.'
   Anyway, NOT ONE of these  'Shakespeare is Right' features even mentioned any of the glaring historical errors in the Bard's works, preferring to harp  on about the infamous spine (as if it was a condition solely exclusive to Richard III, and not a fairly mundane condition.) . No mention of the withered arm or limp (which  you would assume would come up as they are so intrinsic to the Shakespearean monster and are wholly fantasy), not the fact that Shakespeare hasn't even got his subject's age correct, having him  kill notables in battle when the historical Richard was just an infant. Did baby Richard kill his enemies with his rattle, lol? Likewise, he has him at Mortimer's Cross, where Edward IV saw the Parhelion; again, not possible, since Richard was just a young boy, years away from picking up a sword. In reverse, Shakespeare made Richard's older brother Edmund (killed by Clifford after Wakefield) his junior, almost as if reversing the two brothers. This must be why middle-aged actors (or even older) often end up playing a man who became king at 30 and died at 32....using Shakespeare's chronology he should be at least ten years older than he actually was.
I won't go into a list of other anachronisms in Shakespeare; it's been done before, in more depth than I can give it here.
Next post I will put a list of other myths about Richard III, including modern ones, that have just popped up since he was found. It certainly shows how tales DO grow in the telling!

Tuesday, 31 May 2016


One week kindle countdown sale on the second (but standalone!) part of my epic novel on King Richard III, which is, ususually for the Ricardian genre, written in first person AND from Richard's point of view. Wherever possible, I have used the content of his actual letters and documents--modernised, of course.
Here I cover the final two years of his life--Kingship to death. 
The 'famous' events are covered here-- the sudden appearance and rise of Buckingham, Stillington's revelations, the mystery of the princes, the death of Edward of Middleham and Queen Anne, the Elizabeth of York rumours, and Bosworth itself. As before in part 1 other lesser dealt with situations are described, and I have tried to inject a little mild humour amidst all the gravity--such as the visit by the Silesian knight Von Popelau (I have them get drunk.) 
The final scenes of Bosworth are probably the most up-to-date fictional account of Richard's last moments.

A good foil to some of  the Shakespearean stuff floating around recently--a Richard who is not the psycho of Hollow Crown nor yet some kind of ever-solemn cardboard 'saint.' A real person, neither all goodness and light nor some kind of ultimate evil....


Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The REAL King Richard III's back & the Cumberbatch Film

Shakespeare's Richard III has given people a lot of  what they know (or think they know) about the last Plantagenet King. (In fact the play may have been based on Shakespeare's contemporary Robert Cecil as much as Richard.) Of course more recent books and organisations have tried to redress the balance...while the play continues on as it always has, providing  entertainment. (It was never meant to be history!)
I have no real problems with Shaky's  classic play, regarding it as what it is--fiction and partial fantasy.
However I was less than enamoured to see the  recent pictures from  the Benedict Cumberbatch Hollow Crown version, which are meant to depict Richard III's back.
Richard did of course have scoliosis, a sideways curvature. He was 'fortunate' enough that it was a large C curve that missed his internal organs and left his neck and lower spine straight, resulting in a normally placed head and straight hips. The only mention of his appearance was a 'raised right shoulder', hardly something significant or  even that unusual; medieval archers for instance  often had unequal shoulders from drawing the bow constantly.
However, this new production is filled with grotesque prosthetics that look like they could have come from Alien! I have never seen anyone's scoliosis look anything like that and yes, and I know several people including family who have significant scoliosis. A bit of a kick in the teeth for anyone who suffers a spinal problem and  more than a bit insensitive. It's not as if it's a disorder  suffered only by one 15th century King! About 4 in a thousand people have it  to some degree including  athlete Usain Bolt,  actress Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy), Princes Eugenie, Elizabeth Taylor and Kurt Cobain. It is almost always able to be concealed by clothing. It is not a 'hunchback' (a term I hate as it is as disrespectful as 'cripple' etc etc) which is another condition called kyphosis.

  Benedict is supposed to be a distant descendant of Richard's  family and had a rather prominent place at the reinterment where he read out a poem. That actually makes me feel sad, that he now is participating in what promises to be an even more grotesque and overblown version of Shakespeare, that takes the calumnies already heaped on Richard and intensifies them tenfold.
  I know actors need jobs, lol, and they only have limited say on the ins and outs of their character, but he was apparently  insistant on keeping his anachronistic and rather silly looking modern hair cut for the later part of the show (as he didn't like himself with long hair-hey, I though he was playing a character, not himself) , while evidently  not worrying about  having some gruesome looking prosthetics lumped on his back. Strange.
 Maybe the production should donate some money to a scoliosis charity; certain it seems as if research and understanding is in short supply here....


Saturday, 30 April 2016

I, RICHARD PLANTAGENET :LOYAULTE ME LIE My latest novel about Richard III, written in first person for Richard's point of view. Combined with its prequel, this is probably the second or third longest novel ever written on Richard's life, and has the most recent information--ie regarding the battle of  Bosworth and Richard's last moments.
In writing it, I tried to have a well rounded character, neither the psycho Shakespearean version or a glum, solemn 'saintly' figure who seemed to have never had even one iota of happiness or enjoyment. I also tried to include incidents and minor events that have been generally skipped over by other authors as they aim for the big denoument.
My strong point in my writing has always been in creating a sense of 'place', of people in their landscape, and it was a real pleasure to a history buff like me to research how various buildings no longer extant may have appeared in Richard's day.
 The new book has been selling steadily since release and has been between 6-25 in the biographical historical fiction category.
Part 1 I, RICHARD PLANTAGENET-TANTE LE DESIREE (about Richard as Duke of Gloucester)  has continued to sell strongly too!
Books are presently in  kindle on Amazon, and print versions are just beginning to appear on the various Amazon sites.
#RichardIII #plantagenets #historicalfiction #warsoftheroses. #Bosworth

Thursday, 28 April 2016

AUTHOR J.P. REEDMAN-Historical fiction & fantasy. STONEHENGE & RICHARD III

My author page on
Please look to see my  various stories, long and short.

STONEHENGE/PREHISTORY : STONE LORD and MOON LORD--novels set in the era of Stonehenge.
GODS OF STONEHENGE-non fiction, mythology, anthropology

I, RICHARD PLANTAGENET, parts 1 and 2. Epic novel for those who like Sharon Penman, Rosemary  Hawley Jarman etc. Not Shakesapare's monster but not a sullen 'saint' either. Bawdy, bloody, lighter account of the Wars of the Roses
SACRED KING- historical fantasy about Richard III's last days, the Afterlife and his return in Leicester
WHITE ROSES, GOLDEN SUNNES. Collection of short stories covering Richard's life from birth onwards

and many more!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016


Not really a surprise. It has becoming gradually clear that incoming peoples settling and trading throughout western Europe around the time of the 'Beaker horizon' were, although not in  huge number, highly successful genetically especially in the male line, indicating a strong elite.The older neolithic y-dna such as G began to falter and diminish before the advent of  R1b, the most common western Y-dna (especially common in Britain (upwards of 65% England to over 90% of Welsh men; Ireland (as high as nr 100% in western Ireland), Iberia, France, and anywhere that has a connection to the Atlantic coasts (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark and even the very westernmost tip of Norway.)

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

MY NAME IS NOT MIDNIGHT : Sister Agrippa--Teacher from Hell


The following post  refers to the terrifying antagonist, Agrippa

The Quest For The Rose: Sister Agrippa--Teacher from Hell: Sister (in the book Sestren) Agrippa, the antagonist  in QUEST,  is based on a real life teacher of mine, the dreaded Sister Elaine Marie. M...

Saturday, 17 October 2015

GODS OF STONEHENGE - A religion for the megalith builders?


A short look at mythology and folklore connected with Stonehenge, the world's most famous stone circle, and with other megalithic monuments. 

Who is the sinister 'Bowed One' and what relationship do the bones of a silver-handed saint have to an Irish deity of healing, mist and dogs? Did a Man in the Moon stare down at Stonehenge, and a female sun ride across the skies in a chariot with spoked wheels...or was it the reverse? 
Howling blue hags with single eyes bleary as the setting Midwinter Solstice sun; dancing stones drinking at the river; petrified women, wedding guests and hurlers; spirits out of mounds, benign or malign; healing bluestones and Merlin the Wizard with his stones from the West, desconstructed by 'ingenious devices' before being brought to Salisbury Plain. 

All Folklore mixed with potential folk which there may be an existing grain of truth about the gods and spirits of ancient Stonehenge.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Newly discovered ‘superhenge’ dwarfs Stonehenge

Newly discovered ‘superhenge’ dwarfs Stonehenge

Learned about this dicovery last year but it has finally been made public. A possible  setting of giant standing stones described as being in a C-shape (is this perhaps a loose representation of the horseshoe shape  in the interior of Stonehenge?) which are between Woodhenge and Durrington Walls. Some may still be in situ, others just leaving massive holes. The henge back of DW covered them, when it seemed to have been erected in what appears to be a 'closing ceremony' that decomissioned the monument.