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Classifying Genres - RonO's Ramblings

Jul. 8th, 2010 08:11 am Classifying Genres

After finishing up viewing an older BBC series, I’ve been trying to determine if it counts as being more Alternate History or Secret History.

The story in question claims that Henry Tudor was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth, but was killed accidental subsequently to the battle.  It also contends that Richard Duke of York survived into adulthood – yet somehow ended up heir to his uncle instead of the other way around, a detail not covered – and succeeded to the thrown as Richard IV.  But subsequent to Richard IV’s death – the result of an accidental poisoning which had been meant to only kill a group of potential assassins – which also killed most of the remaining House of Plantagenet including both of Richard’s sons.

Then, Henry Tudor rewrote the history of the last several years stating that he was victorious at Bosworth, that Richard Duke of York disappeared as a boy, and that Henry’s reign began shortly afterwards.  And, somehow, within a generation this history was accepted not only in England, but across all of Europe – in spite of a brief crusade and much involvement in continental wars on Richard IV’s part.

So would this story count as Alternate History – even though after the point of departure the previously open changes were made secret, or would this be Secret History even though the events were quite public at the time?

Of course, the story in question really classifies as either Comedy or Farce – and has enough other historical errors to drive a truck through (or at least I think, given my very small knowledge of that era).

(And, for the few that have gotten this far and not recognizedly the story in question, it is, The Black Adder)

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