BBC History Magazine has released its 2016 History Hot 100 list, and like 2015's, Richard III has once again secured first place. The last Plantagenet king retained the top spot after his bones were discovered under a parking lot in 2012 and he was reburied in the Leicester Cathedral in March of 2015. Robert Attar, BBC History Magazine’s editor, spoke with the Guardian about the divisive figure's resonance with the historical community.
“He is someone who fascinates people and is the only king that I know of who has several societies dedicated to him. Richard also divides people like few others,” Attar said. “He has a lot of supporters, a lot of people think very highly of him, think the Tudors have maligned him. There’s also a large number of academic historians who have a very low opinion of Richard.”
A look at the rest of the top 10 reveals that the list is nearly a clean sweep of Tudors and Nazis, save for Eleanor of Aquitaine in the seventh spot and the knight William Marshal in the ninth spot.
Following closely behind Richard on the list are figures from the Tudor era that followed his death: Elizabeth I (second, up one place), William Shakespeare (third, up eight), Anne Boleyn (fourth, up one) and Henry VIII (fifth, up one). Thomas Cromwell is eighth. Abiding interest in the second world war, even though it is the centenary of the first world war that is currently being marked, means Winston Churchill is at six (down four), and Hitler is at 10 (up five).
Head over to the Guardian to read more about who else made this year's list.