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Thursday, 13 December 2007

The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword

"The pen is mightier than the sword" in that ideas always outlive violence or force, but it's a pity sometimes that the pens of the victors are those who write history. Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra, are perhaps two of the most maligned people thanks to the pens of those who wanted to justify their murder. Nicholas and Alexandra have been presented and misrepresented for so many decades that even now he is so often seen simply as 'weak' and she as 'obsessive'. Nicholas' strength of character, his absolute loyalty to his allies (who showed far less loyalty to him) and his country (which led to his abdication) and the extreme pressure under which both he and Alexandra lived is often overlooked.
The same is true of the hugely maligned Richard III, whose character was blackened beyond recognition first by the usurper, Henry Tudor, and then by Shakespeare's portrayal of him.
Historical fiction is often closer to the truth than what is deemed to be historical fact. If the historical fiction writer is able to capture the essence of a person, there is far more room for an accurate portrayal rather than what the propaganda of the victors would have us believe.

1 comment:

J Cannon said...

I agree that history has not treated him well. However, it is my understanding that he only abdicated because there was no one in the military at that time who was willing to support him in any way other than his abdication. I do think it was admirable that he abdicated for his own heir as well, for the boy's sake, as well as that of his country.