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Anne Neville: Richard III's Tragic Queen [Kindle Edition]

Amy Licence
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Shakespeare's enduring image of Richard III's queen is one of bitterness and sorrow. Anne curses the killer of her husband and father, before succumbing to his marriage proposal, bringing to herself a terrible legacy of grief and suffering an untimely death. Was Anne a passive victim? Did she really jump into bed with the enemy? Myths aside, who was the real Anne? As the Kingmaker's daughter, she played a key role in his schemes for the throne. Brought up in the expectation of a glorious marriage, she was not the passive manipulated pawn of romantic legend; in fact, she was a pragmatist and a survivor, whose courage and endurance were repeatedly pushed to the limit. Her first marriage, to the young Lancastrian, Prince Edward, should have brought her riches and a throne, but when she returned to England to claim her right, she found herself fatherless and widowed. Her second marriage, to her childhood friend Richard of Gloucester, proved to be a successful and peaceful union. Then, in the spring of 1483, everything changed. Anne found herself catapulted into the public eye and sitting on the throne beside Richard. The circumstances of their reign put an unprecedented pressure on their marriage; amid rumours of affairs and divorce, Anne died mysteriously, during an eclipse of the sun, just weeks before Richard's death on the battlefield. This fascinating and elusive woman is shrouded in controversy and unanswered questions. Amy Licence reassesses the long-standing myths about Anne's role, her health and her marriages, to present a new view of the Kingmaker's daughter.

Product Description

About the Author

Amy Licence is a teacher and historian. She has an MA in Medieval and Tudor Studies and has published several scholarly articles on the Tudors. Her previous books include In Bed with the Tudors ('A fascinating book' DAILY EXPRESS) and Elizabeth of York: The Lost Tudor Queen. She lives in Canterbury.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3209 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing (6 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #101,389 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Amy Licence is an historian of women's lives in the medieval and early modern period, from Queens to commoners. Her particular interest lies in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century, in gender relations, Queenship and identity, rites of passage, pilgrimage, female orthodoxy and rebellion, superstition, magic, fertility and childbirth. She is also interested in Modernism, specifically Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group, Picasso and Post-Impressionism.

Amy has written for The Guardian, The TLS, The New Statesman, BBC History, The English Review, The Huffington Post, The London Magazine and other places. She has been interviewed regularly for BBC radio and made her TV debut in "The Real White Queen and her Rivals" documentary, for BBC2, in 2013. She also writes literary fiction and has been shortlisted twice for the Asham Award.

Her website can be found at

She is the mother of two boys and lives in Canterbury.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book and very readable! 15 May 2013
By Sam K
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I ordered this book as I love anything do do with this period in history. The book is very well written and very readable, as some books can get so tied up in political discussions of the day they totally get off the subject! The book makes you think of what Anne Neville was really like, as we always get the impression in novels that she was a quiet mouse who would not say boo to a goose, but perhaps she was not like this after all, perhaps she was a strong woman who supported her husband through his own trials, she had to be considering the things that happened in her short life, tragic it was as the title suggests. Also lavishly illustrated with beautiful photos and pictures I will definitely be buying Amy's other books. I highly recommended this.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read marred by errors 21 Jan. 2014
By Julia
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was never going to be a detailed biography of Anne Neville, as so little is actually documented about her. Amy Licence gives a sympathetic account of Anne's life, but often within the confines of the recorded history of her important male family members. It's her role as Warwick's daughter and Richard iii's wife and queen that is, by necessity, the prominent features of her life. Interposed with the few facts are details about the role of women in their own households and as future wives and mothers to further hereditary lines. At the end we learn very little about Anne's own character or even her own opinions, unless reflected as daughter and wife. The author attempts to fill in the inevitable gaps but at best, much is supposition.

It was surprising to see so many factual errors by a respected historical writer who is knowledgeable about the times this biography covers. Some must have been due to poor proof-reading or editing but others, I fear, due to hasty writing. We have Anne Beauchamp being betrothed to the Duke of York, Owen Tudor being called Henry vi's father-in-law (twice on the same page),Barnard Castle instead of Baynard's Castle and John Grey being named as one of Elizabeth Woodville's sons. I see another reviewer has already mentioned others. For a reader new to the history these errors must be confusing and unfortunately do detract from an otherwise good read.
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I really liked this book by Amy Licence as I have a particular interest in this era in English history. Her book is informative and told me lots of information I was not aware of regarding Anne Neville. She died very young and mystery still surrounds her death did Richard 111 have her murdered or did she die of natural causes we may never know after 500 years. Was Richard 111 the person who had his young nephews murdered so he had no other claims to his throne Shakespeare says he did but I think much of his play is mostly Tudor propaganda in my opinion. Richard 111's remains which have been found in Leicester have thrown up many questions which I think the debate will continue even after he is buried soon. The white Queens as they are called Anne Neville Elizabeth Woodville and even Elizabeth of York where pawns in a power struggle between York and Lancaster factions in the wars of the Roses. Very violent times and power was of the upmost important especially regarding the corwn.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading 24 Jun. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A difficult subject for any author to tackle because of lack of personal information. However Amy Licence handled it well, presenting Anne to the best of her ability with the material available. It is impossible to access Anne's character, but we get a good view of life under the Plantagenets, and how Anne would have coped ,by seeing the highs and lows involved in her lifetime. It is a sympathetic and honest view of her marriage, coronation etc. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a love of the Plantagenet era.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The tragic queen 25 Jun. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The story of Richard III's wife has been put aside for a long time in favour of the controversy about her husband. It is refreshing to see history from a different angle.

This is a well written book and a real page turner, despite the fact that we already know the outcome.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
By EleanorB TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This new biography from Amy Licence continues her focus on the lesser known women of the early Tudor period. In this instance, the shadowy Anne Neville, daughter of the Kingmaker (Earl of Warwick), widow of Edward the last Lancastrian heir, and wife of Richard the Third. Her early life spanned a period of huge upheaval and uncertainty as the Cousin's War reached its final throes taking Anne's first husband and her father as but two casualties among so many as Edward the Fourth reasserted his rule. As always the women were left to try to maintain some semblance of normality amidst the seemingly endless rounds of war, betrayal, short lived marriages and broken hearts. Their status as queens, duchesses or princesses offered little protection against the brutal realities of medieval life, and in this respect Anne Neville was no exception to the rule.

Anne Neville's life is not the easiest to quantify or write about as, truthfully, there is not a huge amount of source material. That said, Amy Licence has worked her magic again by putting her subject firmly in her historical context and drawing on the lives and destinies of her family and contemporaries. In this way, she is able to give us a real sense of a flesh and blood woman who could easily be overwhelmed by the bigger personalities around her. There is a clear sense that her happiest times were as Duchess of Gloucester, running her home at Middleham Castle far from the pressures of London and the royal court. Of course, all that changed when Richard became King, in circumstances that were, and remain, shrouded in mystery: the key issue being the fate of the two Princes in the Tower, who as the young sons of Edward the Fourth were his natural heirs.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good read
An interesting book on Anne, who has been lost to the annals of time, Amy has made her live again and for he to be remembered as a queen in her own right..eventually.
Published 2 months ago by deb
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a good read on the tragic life of anne neville
Published 3 months ago by Colin Mansfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
She really felt for Richard.
Published 4 months ago by Jamie Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The book arrived safely and was well wrapped.
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. J. Chamberlain
3.0 out of 5 stars It's not going to be remembered for generation because it is quite...
Is AMY LICENCE an actual name?
Or a type of permit for ghost writers to publish under - An 'AMY licence'? Read more
Published 7 months ago by Hank Norville Carter
2.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate collection of scanty, half-cut records
However few the records on Anne Neville, this author managed to report only part of them (and not even complete) and mar her books with such blatant errors one wonders if she had... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Francesco
4.0 out of 5 stars well written
I haven't quite finished this book yet, but I have thoroughly enjoyed every word. There is enough background to make sure that a reader coming to this without much knowledge of... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mrs. R. K. Young
2.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, yet superficial
While less biased than Michael HIcks'similar biography, this author leaves the reader with a huge amount of undealt doubts (first of all, did Richard love his wife and former... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Isabella
5.0 out of 5 stars Looks a good book
Looks a good book well I am hoping. Not read it yet but will up date when read I watch this space
Published 11 months ago by kae
4.0 out of 5 stars It is a good book
You get to some extent an insight in the womens world in this book,but it is just as much about the men.I do not like Anne Neville.I dont think she was good to Richard. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Synnoeve Pedersen
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