Rare book signed by Richard III on display at Longleat
By nhavergal | Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 06:00
A book which was given to Richard III as a teenager has gone on display at Longleat Safari and Adventure Park.
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The book which was written on vellum and contains tales by Chaucer as well as other popular stories of the time is part of a new exhibition at Longleat House.
The book is believed to be one of only thirteen of Richard III's books that still exist. The book is signed 'R Gloucester' which makes the book valuable as he was the only Duke of Gloucester as a young man.
The book has been at Longleat House since 1709 and was purchased by the First Viscount of Weymouth as part of a medieval collection.
Curator at Longleat House, Dr Kate Harris said: "It is a fascinating piece of history. His handwriting is extremely competent, which shows he was highly educated."
"Within the book are tales of derring-do, as well as classical Greek and Rome. Most of the books of the time were in French or Latin, so the fact that this one is in English is also unsual."
Also on display in the exhibition includes original documents relating to the elder of the 'Princes in the Tower' who Richard is rumoured to have killed.
Other artefacts also include a copy of the First Folio by William Shakespeare 1623.