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.
As of about 17:30 today (9 September 2015), Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history. To mark her achievement, we take a look at the top 10 reigns in English history and see how the Queen compares to her (not always) illustrious predecessors.