Francis Bacon said: "Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority."
With the discovery http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exhumation_of_Richard_III_of_England last year of King of England Richard III's bones in a parking lot, my interest in things related to this historical figure was reignited as I recalled the narrative based on Shakespeare's play and adapted to film as well as the unsolved mystery of the two princes of the tower.
Not only is the false depiction http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/richardiii/section10.rhtml by Shakespeare of Richard III interesting in terms of how truth is grossly warped in the name of art and politics (propaganda) but speculations as to the hidden motives of various characters for their actual or presumed actions under political and social pressures of the time require life experience and insights into human nature.
Why did Lady Anne Neville consent to wed Richard III? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_of_Westminster,_Prince_of_Wales Why would Elizabeth Woodville even consider consenting to her daughter Elizabeth of York's marriage (which did not take place in real life) to Richard III if she suspected that Richard had a role in the murder of Edward and Richard, the two young princes in the tower, who were her sons? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_of_York Wasn't Richard III also responsible for the death of her son from her first marriage, Richard Grey? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Grey
With such questions brewing a revisionist storm in my mind, I was surprised to learn that Josephine Tey had already addressed in 1951 the mystery surrounding the alleged crimes of King Richard III in a book that is considered by some to be the greatest mystery novel ever written. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Daughter_of_Time
"Josephine Tey/Gordon Daviot addresses the question, in this book and others: "How much of history is solidly grounded in fact, and how much is it malleable for the sake of political expediency?" In The Daughter of Time, Inspector Grant eventually tries to dig up sources contemporaneous with Richard III to eliminate the Tudor bias. In writing Richard III, Shakespeare's goal was to write a compelling drama, and historical accuracy was sacrificed for the sake of plot. Because it was widely believed in those days that Richard III had had his nephews murdered, he was a logical villain; Shakespeare only needed to superimpose exaggerated physical deformities and a Machiavellian-inspired personality to create an unforgettable character." http://www.r3.org/fiction/mysteries/tey_butler.html
"The book explores how history is constructed, and how certain versions of events come to be widely accepted as the truth, despite a lack of evidence." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LH7Nyx19amQ
Sharon Kay Penman seems to have written another credible account of Richard III. "Sharon Kay Penman, the author of Sunne in Splendour, the Welsh trilogy beginning with Here Be Dragons and two Justin de Quincy mysteries is one of the most poetic and accurate of historical novelists." http://www.triviumpublishing.com/articles/penman1.html
I guess it's up to each author of historical novels to pick a battle in addressing errors (intentional or unintentional) of scribes.