Richard III discussion

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Open debate room > What Richard III Sounded Like (?)

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message 1: by Rhiannon (new)

Rhiannon (rhiannonxgrace) | 1 comments Saw this on the Medieval History subreddit and thought that you lot might be interested! Dr Philip Shaw from the University of Leicester has studied two of Richard III's letters in order to find out how Richard III might have sounded when he spoke. there's a five minute clip of Shaw reading the letters in an approximation of the accent.

What are your thoughts?


message 2: by RJay (new)

RJay (plantagenetjunkie) | 33 comments Well, that was certainly different! I knew that speech in MA was much more formal without the types of contractions we have today but had not imagined that the actual pronunciations would be so entirely different too. Thanks for sharing!


Clare Julia Hartley | 14 comments Rhiannon wrote: "Saw this on the Medieval History subreddit and thought that you lot might be interested! Dr Philip Shaw from the University of Leicester has studied two of Richard III's letters in order to find ou..."

I thought Richard had a Yorkshire accent since he spent a lot of time in Yorkshire while administering his brother's justice in the north of England. There was no snobbery regarding a regional accent during the middle ages and earlier. The 'posh' accent came later. I also learnt that the the working classes carried on speaking early modern English long after the nobles and gentry abandoned it and spoke English in a way we recognise today. It is believed that everyone spoke Early Modern English in Richard III's time.


message 4: by RJay (new)

RJay (plantagenetjunkie) | 33 comments Clare Julia Hartley wrote: "Rhiannon wrote: "Saw this on the Medieval History subreddit and thought that you lot might be interested! Dr Philip Shaw from the University of Leicester has studied two of Richard III's letters in..."

I'm not sure what "early modern English" sounds like nor do I know what a Yorkshire accents sounds like. Are you saying that the audio of how Richard might have spoken isn't really accurate?


Clare Julia Hartley | 14 comments Obviously not aidiot those days. If ŔIII lived in Yorkshire when he was Duke of Gloucester I expect he eventually had a Yorkshire accent. As for Early Modern English I found out some history buffs tried to learn how to speak it. Correct spelling was not required until much later. Could be because it would be easier to teach people to read and write this way.


Clare Julia Hartley | 14 comments I think it's better to ask experts about Early Modern English. I have heard the Yorkshire accent but spoken in today's English . Iive in London. But I hear it when I phone my bank.


message 7: by Brian (new)

Brian (brianwainwright) | 149 comments There was no such thing as Received Pronunciation back in Richard's day. Even nobles spoke in regional accents. Indeed, some noblemen still did even in the early/mid 19th Century.

The question is, which accent did Richard have given that he was born in Northamptonshire, spent his youth in Ludlow, London, and Flanders (among other places) and then much of his life in Yorkshire.

I suspect someone who was really learned on the subject could work it out from his writings.


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