By Sean Flynn
The unforgettable and heartbreaking real tale of the firemen who bravely fought "the ideal fire" is now in paperback.
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Extra info for 3000 Degrees: The True Story of a Deadly Fire and the Men Who Fought It
Modern productions of Richard III routinely court topicality, using costume, set, and special effects to underscore parallels with latter-day despots – Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin or various Middle Eastern dictators. What makes the play especially congenial to such adaptations is Shakespeare’s acute preoccupation, which he shares with his chronicle sources, about strategies of manipulating and winning public opinion. With spin and propaganda at the very centre of political life, Richard’s campaign of misinformation – and, indeed, Richmond’s battleﬁeld oration staking out the legitimacy of his actions – could not be more timely or relevant.
Edward’s premature death in April 1484 proved devastating to both Richard and his wife, Anne. The news clearly came unexpectedly, for, according to the Crowland Chronicle, “on hearing news of this, at Nottingham, where they were then residing, you might have seen his father and mother in a state almost bordering on madness, by reason of their sudden grief”. Several months later, in September 1484, when wrapping up payments for the prince’s disbanded household, Richard continued to describe Edward as “our dearest son the prince”.
In 1480, Richard wrote to the French king Louis XI, thanking him for “the great bombard which you caused to be presented to me, for I have always taken and still take great pleasure in artillery and I assure you it will be a special treasure to me”. Richard later took a leading role in the defence of the Scottish borders, and by 1483 the Italian visitor Dominic Mancini was stating that “such was his renown in warfare, that whenever a difﬁcult and dangerous policy had to be undertaken, it would be entrusted to his discretion and generalship”.
3000 Degrees: The True Story of a Deadly Fire and the Men Who Fought It by Sean Flynn