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Richard Iii Unknown Binding – 1961


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  • Unknown Binding
  • ASIN: B002MG5SRA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,195,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
RICHARD Plantagenet, afterward Duke of Gloucester, and still later King Richard the Third, was born on October 2, 1452, at Fotheringhay Castle. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Lynette Baines VINE VOICE on 3 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
Kendall's biography of the most controversial king in English history is a model of careful, balanced research. Although published over 50 years ago, it is still the best book I've read on Richard's whole career. Along with Josephine Tey's Daughter of Time, this is one of the books which leads people to become members of the Richard III Society. Some of Kendall's conclusions have been overtaken by new evidence, but he deals with the available sources impartially. He also gives a wonderfully detailed picture of the times Richard lived in. Particulrly fascinating is his examination of the deaths of the Princes in the Tower, which he leaves to an Appendix so as not to stem the flow of his narrative. He carefully sifts through the evidence on each side and, although he is clearly a Ricardian, he is not so biassed as to discount material unfavourable to his thesis. I don't think a completely objective biography of Richard could be written and I think this is an excellent introduction to a subject which has fascinated me for many years.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. P. D. Glyn-jones on 28 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a fine and sympathetic account of Richard's life, and places him more accurately within his times than the many prejudiced accounts that we have become used to.

While clearly sympathetic to Richard, it does not completely acquit him from responsibility for the princes' fate ("The push from the dais was the mortal stroke"), and leaves this as an unsolved mystery, which may, or may not have been to his account (though Kendall seems to lean towards Richard's innocence).
Kendall seeks to fet right inside the mind and heart of his subject, and leaves one feeling real empathy for Richard as a human being. This might not be entirely historical, for how can we know the feelings and thoughts of a person 500 years dead, but it does create understanding.

I was interested to note, primarily, from the Appendices and Notes, that there exist doubts that the skeletons discovered in the Tower are those of the princes. (Actual site of location, age and ages of the bones, unclear references later than 1483, to the Lord Bastard).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bev Rogers on 13 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am interested in the Wars of the Roses period and its aftermath and in my reading frequently came across references to this book. Often they were somewhat sneery. I decided that the best thing to do was actually read the book for myself. There are moments of purple prose, but this actually helps to make it a very enjoyable read. There are moments when you think that Kendall is putting thoughts into peoples heads and you cry out 'Where is the evidence for this?'. However, there is lots of very thought provoking material in this book. I thought it was especially good on Warwick and Clarence. It makes you think about Clarence rather than just holding him in utter contempt as a traitor. It goes into serious and fascinating detail about Richards legislative programme and the conservative motives behind his radical, by medieval standards, reforms. Read this. Even if you do not agree with all of it, it is time well and enjoyably spent.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Nostromo on 30 April 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is superbly researched and written. Naturally, much of the content of any book on Richard III will always involve an element of conjecture or interpretation of what few facts surrounding the most fiercely debated mystery in English history are actually known. However, this book is written with such a commanding presentation of points and of evidence as to leave the reader with little doubt that it is the definitive book on this most fascinating king.

Despite its thickness, the book never delves into tedium and unlike many other books on the subject is not at all hard work. The chapter on Bosworth is excellent and presents a very detailed anlaysis of both the events and of the military strategies employeed by the three sides (Richard, Richmond and Stanley).

This book is a must have for anyone with aan interest in this subject, it is the biography of Richard against which all others should be judged.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By H. A. Weedon TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
First published in 1955 this work has since become something of a classic and is still unsurpassed as a definitive account of the life and reign of King Richard III of England. Although a copy of it has been in my possession for some time, this is the first revue I've written about it. One of the book's greatest assets is the readability of the writing style adopted by the author, Paul Murray Kendall, who uses a fertile imagination to recreate scenes from the life of Richard, something which encourages the reader to use his/her imagination by asking questions such as: 'Was he really like that?' The reader is not made to feel that she/he is being 'got at' by someone who has an axe to grind. The author is one of those inspiring 'think things out for yourself' historian.

There are two appendices: 'Who Murdered the Princes?' and 'Richard's Reputation.' The work has extensive reference notes, a five page bibliography and a very helpful index. The answer arrived at to the question poised in the first appendix is that we simply do not know and never will. The conclusion reached in the second appendix is that, although Richard was not perfect, he was a better king than either the Tudors or Shakespeare would have us believe.

Chapter Four, entitled 'The Government of the Realm', is one of the most interesting along with Chapter Five, which describes the legal reforms passed into law when Richard presided over parliament. It was also during Richard's reign that all government documents were published in English for the first time since the Norman Conquest.
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