The reign of King Richard III has been described as 'the darkest, the most complex and the worst authenticated of our English annals'; such material as is available, and such modern disquisitions on it as various historians have made, are easily accessible, and therefore it is needless for any list of them to be given here; it is sufficient to state that the author of the following romance has studied them all, has violated no known fact, nor presented any character or action in any light that is not probable, as well as possible.
No fictitious figures have been added to the press of those who once lived, though in some cases mere names have been expanded into personalities, and the extraordinary evil fortune that pursued and overtook our last Plantagenet King has been symbolised in a personage with a human semblance. It is not likely that the truth of these mysterious and terrible events will ever be known; the historian and the novelist alike must fill in the gaps with conjecture or imagination; nor is it difficult, from our knowledge of what was, to compose a theory of what might have been.
The times, the men and women, when they have been carefully studied, are clear enough for us to guess their characters from what can be realised of their deeds and destinies.
With regard to the main figure in this tale, the author has presented it according to a sincere conviction of its truth, though, of necessity, the facts and arguments which led to this conviction must be omitted in a work of fiction.
Dickon, the name used throughout this romance for Richard Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester, afterwards King Richard III of England, was the one familiarly used in his lifetime and is preserved in Dickon's Nook and Dickon's Well on Redmoor Plain.
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Marjorie Bowen (pseudonym of Mrs Gabrielle Margaret Campbell, (1885-1952) was a British author who wrote historical romances, supernatural horror stories, popular history and biography. Her total output numbers over 150 volumes with the bulk of her work under the 'Bowen' pseudonym. She also wrote under the names Joseph Shearing, George R. Preedy, John Winch, Robert Paye and Margaret Campbell. As Joseph Shearing, she wrote several sinister gothic romances full of terror and mystery. Several of her books were adapted as films.
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