Niki: First, in your opinion, why is the study of royal history important?
Michael: It is central to the national history, politics and high society of all countries until very recent times (say 1900) and in many places, eg Saudi Arabia, still is. Royalty actually ran things.
Niki: Absolutely. Do you think royal history is increasingly becoming more popular and well recognized?
Michael: Not really. Until relatively recently all History was political and therefore generally involved monarchs. Now of course there is much more thematic range to history and royalty is becoming a theme worthy of academic recognition and definition and all aspects of royalty,eg queens, courts etc are attracting more attention.
Niki: Great, now how do you draw conclusions or fill in the gaps on the actions and characters of some of the medieval English monarchs?
Michael: Set them in context, take account of other players, apply standards current at the time. Gaps. Search for more records. Inevitably there are gaps that cannot be filled. Very few straightforward statements of motives or intent. Deduction from actions is the main route. I find that if you keep looking at the same events from different points of view, new perceptions arise. I have a fuller understanding of Richard III now than ten or twenty years ago.
Niki: Thank you; and lastly, what do you hope to explore and/or work on in the near future?
Michael: Richard III and His Family forthcoming this winter. New biography of Richard III.