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By Loyalty Bound: The Story of the Mistress of King Richard III [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Ashworth
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

With the scant remains of Richard III lifted recently from such humble soil, Elizabeth Ashworth presents us here with the results of her own excavation. Perhaps no other ruler has engendered such a spirit of ambivalence in the British public - murderer or maverick, disfigured disgrace to the throne or exciting, romantic anti-hero, unafraid of getting his hands dirty in the heat of battle. The various contradictions that feed our understanding of the man are enacted here, focusing on a series of formative events in his early life that cast him in an interesting new light.

When 17-year-old Richard, Duke of Gloucester, defies his elder brother, Edward IV, and rides to Hornby Castle in the north of Lancashire to help James and Robert Harrington defend their birthright against Sir Thomas Stanley, he engenders a chain of events that will have repercussions for years to come. His fight for justice for the Harringtons and his relationship with Anne Harrington, whose ward-ship has been given to Thomas Stanley, cause a rift between the two men that will never be healed, and which will lead to Richard being betrayed when he most needs Stanley’s support.

Relayed here is the story of defiant Anne Harrington, the woman destined to become mistress to the enigmatic Richard as a consequence of his involvement in the trials of her family. With her father and grandfather killed fighting for the Yorkists at Wakefield in 1460, Hornby Castle falls to her as an inheritance at the tender age of five years old. When her ward-ship is handed over to Thomas Stanley by the king himself, Anne’s uncles and the influence they might otherwise have wielded are virtually cut off. The story traces the Harringtons fight to keep possession of their ancestral home, the support given to them by Richard, Duke of Gloucester, and Richard’s tumultuous and beguiling relationship with Anne as she is forced into a marriage arranged for her by her guardian, a man who has objectives beyond the determination to secure her future happiness.

With a close eye for detail, Ashworth creates an intricately nuanced landscape, which serves as a remarkably effective and convincing backdrop. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, a man often demonized in literary adaptations with his hunched back and questionable moral code, is revived to supreme effect. The romance of the era is effectively relayed, communicating a real sense of drama borne out of political tensions heightened by the emotional complexities that characterized the age.

Product Description


A wonderfully imaginative and action-packed story. compelling and credible. By Loyalty Bound is a rare treat. An exciting exploration of a piece of little-known history. A stunning new slant on the last of the Plantagenet kings. AAn intriguing theory... and an unmissable story. Lancashire Evening Post, Lancashire Guardian, Morcombe Visitor

About the Author

Elizabeth Ashworth has a keen interest in local history and enjoys discovering new and unexpected stories. Her research into the Wars of the Roses led her to the Harrington family who owned Hornby Castle in Lancashire as well as other lands across the north. It is their story that forms the plotline of her new novel By Loyalty Bound.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 463 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Claymore Press (19 Aug. 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 (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #110,823 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I've been a published writer since I sold my first short story to Pony Annual in my teens. Since then my work has been published in a wide variety of magazines including Lancashire Magazine, Lancashire Life, The Lady, My Weekly, People's Friend and Take a Break Fiction Feast.

I have written three local interest books:
Champion Lancastrians
Tales of Old Lancashire
Lancashire - Who Lies Beneath?

My first historical novel The de Lacy Inheritance was published by Myrmidon Books in June 2010 and has been followed by:
An Honourable Estate, along with its short prequel The Lady of Haigh.
By Loyalty Bound, which tells the story of the mistress of Richard III.
Favoured Beyond Fortune, which tells the story of Alicia de Lacy, set in the reign of Edward II.
The Circle of Fortune, which continues Alicia's story and her fight for her lands and castles.
Many Kinds of Silence, which traces the lost years of William Shakespeare and his relationship with his patron Ferdinando Stanley.

You can find out more about me, my books and my research on my website at

You can find my author page on Facebook at:

and follow me on Twitter: @elizashworth

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of By Loyalty Bound 16 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
We've been waiting for a long time for someone to write a novel about this forgotten period of the life of Richard III. The history books have been shamefully quiet about the way in which the Stanley family were rewarded for their constant wavering, dodging, disloyalty and treason, all to maintain Royal power in the North, while families like the Harringtons who remained staunchly loyal to the Yorkist cause lost everything. Only recently have non-fiction books like "Richard III and the Death of Chivalry" by Hipshon found that the Harrington-Stanley feud might have been a major factor in the Stanley betrayal of Richard at Bosworth. So it was with some excitement that we received our copy of "By Loyalty Bound". The story is seen through the eyes of Ann Harrington, who despite being treated as a pawn, is able to provide a narrative focus for the novel. The conceit that she was Richard's mistress is cleverly worked in (I don't believe there is any clear evidence either way), and it is even brought up to date with mention of Richard's scoliosis. A fascinating read about Richard III from the unusual perspective of the Harrington family.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unknown Mistress 20 Sept. 2013
Before reading this novel, I knew nothing about Richard III's alleged mistress of Richard, as all the stories I have read speaks of a devotion to his wife, Anne Neville, daughter of the Kingmaker. However Ms Ashworth makes a very convincing case for Anne Harrington being his lover and the mother of his surviving children, an heiress at the mercy of a guardian of the Stanleys.

This complicated era of history is handled extremely well. Edward IV did not have an easy rule and no one was certain of which side to join, and many changed loyalties according to who was in the ascendant and whose army was biggest. By the end I was confused as to who actually was the `rightful' king, so even with hindsight, had I lived in the 15th Century I would have made the wrong decision.
Villains abound in all guises and Anne has to tread a careful path with her in-laws who regard her as having brought disgrace on them by being Richard of Gloucester's mistress - hypocritical in the extreme as they forced her to marry their son so they could grab her estate!

Despite its difficult beginning in that she was presented to him as a bribe by her family - girls had a rotten time in the 15th century! Anne's devotion to Richard of Gloucester is touching, - so much so, she refuses to consummate her marriage to Edward Stanley - though fortunately he does not press the issue and takes a mistress of his own. In an age where bearing heirs is vital, I wondered at her father-in-law's silence on the fact she had produced two healthy children for Richard but none for her own husband, but he remains enigmatically silent.

Margaret Beaufort joins the Stanley family, making the entire crew even more sinister, and Anne has to watch her back for stray daggers, at times relying only on her aloof serenity to keep her safe.

A thoroughly enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By SAP777
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story was fine but the heroine (in my opinion) is lacking of personality. The author has well research her subject but sometimes there are a bit too much info which breaks the flow of the story. Also not sure if it is the same on paper but on kindle the story seems to jump from one character being in place to another character in another place without any "space" or new chapter, this bit was very confusing but apart that the story is good.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another mistress story 1 Mar. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Yet another 'mistress' of Richard III; this time it is proposed that the lady in question was Anne Harrington, whose family was helped against the Stanleys by the young Duke of Gloucester. A little slow to start, it really hit its stride half way and enjoyed it. However, one event near the end (I won't reveal what as it would be a spoiler) did stretch my credulity a little bit. Still, well written.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By Loyalty Bound; by Elizabeth Ashworth 9 Oct. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
With news of the discovery of Richard 111's remains in a car park in Leicester, I found myself trying to recall what I had learned of that period in history. The Princes in the Tower and the Battle of Bosworth sprang to mind. History wasn't my favourite subject in school but I was looking forward to reading Elizabeth Ashworth's `By Loyalty Bound: The story of the mistress of King Richard 111'. I pre-ordered my copy from Amazon and after several delays it arrived. `What a beautiful cover!' was my initial reaction.

It was some weeks before I had time to sit down and read, but once I started I didn't want to stop till I'd come to the end. It is a beautifully told tale and sounds so authentic. In Elizabeth's Author's Note she makes a convincing case for her suggestion that Anne Harrington was Richard's mistress. I found myself reading as if it were a true story and not fiction and this is a tribute to Elizabeth's thorough research into and love for local history.

Having previously read `The de Lacy Inheritance', I knew I was going to enjoy Elizabeth's latest book and I did. All through, I felt sympathy for the heroine - for her resistance to the unwelcome attentions of the nasty Sir William Stanley, for her loyalty to her lover and their two children, and for her reaction in the end when the happiness that was almost in her grasp, was snatched from her.

When I came to the end of the final chapter, entitled August 1485, I put the book down and felt really sad - sad, not just because there was no more to read, but sad for Anne Harrington. That shows how deeply I became involved in this brilliantly related tale.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read
This short book does exactly what is sets out to puts the case of an identity for the mistress of Richard third
Published 23 days ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good historical read
Very enjoyable read
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. J.S.Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Richard lll
Its funny when l had this book in hardback, l simply could not get into it, yet when my husband bought me a kindle, l was into it and finished it in a few days. A good read.
Published 7 months ago by blanc sanglier
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Most enjoyable some more than others.
Published 8 months ago by Josephine Barker
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 months ago by Jamie Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 10 months ago by christopher bennison
1.0 out of 5 stars huge dissapointment
I love historical fiction; and really love books about the wars of the roses and Richard the 3rd
but this book is so shallow; the main character is such a naïve fool/... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Neta-lie Gross
5.0 out of 5 stars By Loyalty Bound
I enjoyed this book very much as an avid reader of historical novels it rates of one of the best the description of the characters and events where excellent you could almost be... Read more
Published 10 months ago by R. Skinner
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting story
I think this book missed the opportunity to explore the complicated character of Richard 111 and his relationship with his brothers in particular and the country as a whole. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Hilary R. Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars Not entirely idle speculation
As a native of Lancaster I was immediately intrigued by the squabbles over property between the Stanleys and the Harringtons over Hornby Castle and estates. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Paul J. Johnston
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