William Shakespeare as Historian

Shakespeare’s history plays are for many people the defining versions of England’s medieval monarchs, but can Shakespeare really be trusted? Is Richard III the greatest villain in history or Henry V the embodiment of the perfect, virtuous king? To find out, we are taking a closer look at Shakespeare’s sources, why he was writing history plays in the first place and check three of his most famous plays to see if they are more historical fact or historical fiction.

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Semi-Final Results

The battle to reach the grand final has been hard fought but now the day of reckoning is upon us. Alfred the Great, Athelstan, Henry II, Edward I, Edward III, Henry V, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Victoria: nine monarchs, but only three will make it through to the final. To find out the results, watch the video or click for the stats but beware – spoilers!

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Semi-Finals – Last Chance to Vote!

The voting for the Semi-Finals of the Rex Factor play-offs is nearly finished – you have until the close of play on Thursday 12 June to cast your vote for the three monarchs who you think should make it through to the final. If you’re not sure who to vote for and don’t have time to listen to the three play-off episodes, here’s a quick guide to the 9 monarchs competing for a place in the final as well as links to all the surveys.

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Semi-Final B – Vote Now!

In the second of the three play-off contests, two of England’s most successful warrior kings (Athelstan and Henry V) take on one of its most iconic (Elizabeth I) but only one monarch can make it through to the Grand Final. Read on for more information about the three contenders and how you can influence the outcome!

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Group C – Vote Now!

The third and final first round tie of the play-offs is now live. Doing battle in Group C are William the Conqueror, Edward III, Henry V, William IV, Victoria and George V. Read on for a quick introduction to the six contenders and details on how you can vote to decide the outcome.

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The Rex Factor Hopefuls

There were 18 monarchs to receive the Rex Factor and who are now competing for the Rex Factor crown. Each of them has their own dedicated podcast but as a quick (re)introduction, here’s a guide to England’s greatest monarchs and their greatest achievements:
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