Over here in Britain, we've made a better job of telling tales in the round -but then so much of our history took place much longer ago.

So now, instead of a valiant warrior-king, Richard I (the 'Lionheart') is known as an absentee monarch who never spoke a word of English and who forced his unfortunate brother, John, to tax excessively in order to finance Richards' military adventurism.

Richard III is no longer a deformed, child-killing usurper, but a pragmatic soldier and politician who did what he had to do to try and prevent another civil war.

Henry VIII is still the King who freed the realm from Papal domination. It's just that now we know he did it for himself, not us. His daughter, Elizabeth I, stands revealed, not as the pure and virtuous Virgin Queen, but as a clever, manipulative, paranoid woman utterly determined to hang onto her own power even if it left England without an heir to the throne. Queen Victoria is now admitted to have been a self-indulgent, neurotic and needy domestic tyrant.

We still have a wayto go, though. People are still unwilling to admit that Churchill was a snob who despised working people, a racist, a misogynist and a determined 51st Stater. Even now she's dead, peope are still unwilling to hold Thatcher to account for the lives she destroyed. Worst of all, nobody seems prepared to admit that Princess Diana was less than an angel, even though she was clearly as self-absorbed, needy and entitled a girl-woman as Meghan Markle.

Snapper-up of unconsidered trifles, walker of paths less travelled by. Advocate-in-Ordinary to His Satanic Majesty.

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