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Richard III and the Murder in the Tower

Richard III and the Murder in the Tower [Kindle Edition]

Peter A. Hancock
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Product Description


...a cracking good read. Hancock not only knows his stuff, but he is able to present his theories lucidly, making what is frankly quite a difficult argument easy and entertaining to understand….A great book which any Ricardian will love, and despite being an easy and entertaining read, the arguments are nevertheless complex… not for the novice. Great stuff though --Ripperologist, October 2009

Product Description

Richard III is accused of murdering his nephews (the 'Princes in the Tower') in order to usurp the throne of England. Since Tudor times he has been painted as the 'black legend', the murderous uncle. However, the truth is much more complicated and interesting. Rather than looking at all the killings Richard III did not commit, this book focuses on the one judicial murder for which we know that he was responsible. On Friday 13 June 1483, William, Lord Hastings was hustled from a meeting of the Royal Council and summarily executed on Tower Green within the confines of the Tower of London. This book sheds light on the mystery of this precipitate and unadvised action by the then Duke of Gloucester and reveals the key role of William Catesby in Richard's ascent to the throne of England. It explains his curious actions during that tumultuous summer of three kings and provides an explanation for the fate of the 'Princes in the Tower.'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 502 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; Reprint edition (26 Aug 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0078XH8CA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #50,841 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Richard III & William Hastings. 9 Oct 2009
By J. Cook
Even though I'm a member of the Richard III Society and read everything I can lay my hands on about him and The wars of The Roses, I'm definitely not an expert. This book offers a new perspective on the execution of William Hastings in the Tower of London in 1483 and to my mind does a pretty convincing job. I've always been uneasy with some of the explanations regarding Hastings and his supposed plotting with the Woodvilles, and the alterntive suggestion as to why Hastings met such an untimely death might well be the correct one. Of course much of the book is based on supposition, which the author freely admits to and we will never know the truth. It is well worth a read but I would suggest that you might get more out of it with some background knowledge on the subject.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 21 Jan 2010
By The One
Peter Hancock has written an intriguing, well researched and persuasive argument to explain the events surrounding Richard's decision to take the throne, and in particular the death of Hastings which has never, to my mind, been convincingly explained. Hancock's case fits the known facts better than the 'traditional' explanation does, and he has delved into the backgrounds of some hitherto largely overlooked characters to back up his theory with fact. On the odd occasion when he descends into speculation, he is meticulous in saying so and takes pains to explain why he thinks what he does.

Essential reading for anyone interested in Richard III, although I wouldn't recommend it for the novice as it assumes some prior knowledge of these events.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Illustrations on Kindle 11 Dec 2011
By Elena
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book and tried really hard to read it (!) but ALL of the illustrations, graphs, photos, relevant land title documents etc are missing in the Kindle edition rendering it very difficult indeed to follow if you don't already possess a fairly good knowledge of that period of history. I loved the way it was written and he clearly seems to have researched his sources brilliantly and I was truly disappointed not to be able to enjoy it properly and ended up giving up and asking Amazon for a refund. I will try to buy the print version of the book locally as I suspect it's a really great book and so this review is IN NO WAY intended to put anyone off the actual book which is well-written, has some new perspectives and is very well researched, but just to warn other potential Kindle edition purchasers about the lack of accompanying illustrations as it ruined it for me and made the book impossible to fully enjoy or understand. As I say, if you already possess an in-depth knowledge of that historical period, then you may find it far easier to follow but to a dimbo like me, it all proved a bit too complex. I'd definitely buy the print book though.
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally the Truth? 20 Jan 2010
As a very committed Ricardian of some 40+ years, it was very refreshing to read a book about Richard that concentrated on facts and actual documentation, rather than opinions of various commentators who were not privy to such information.

The hypothesis about the reason for Hastings execution being the concealment of his knowledge of the pre-contract from Richard rather than a plot with the Woodvilles (who were Hastings' opponents), certainly seems to me a more realistic reason for the event, especially when you consider the rewards showered upon Catesby who revealed Hastings' deception to Richard. Richard's fierce anger at Hastings' betrayal (something Richard abhorred, as his enduring loyalty to his brother shows) makes sense, and I agree with the author that when he calmed down he regretted his action, bearing in mind his generous treatment of Hastings' widow.

The book is put together very well with very little speculation about events, rather relying on factual provable information. I enjoyed it very much, and highly recommend it to students of this historical period, whether Ricardians or not.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth at last?? 20 Oct 2009
By D. Hay
Whilst I am a Ricardian at heart and can argue his "innocence" as regards the Princes in the tower.....(Henry VII and his role in their disappearance has not been inspected closely enough in my view) ...his murder of William Lord Hastings has left a bad taste in the mouth and difficult to explain. The Woodville plot and role of Jane Shore as some kind of go between just doesn`t ring true, and the report from More about Richard`s withered arm and sorcery belongs in childrens fiction.
Until now..... Mr Hancock has provided a well reasoned argument for Hastings despatch and Richards behaviour, based on the loyalty vs betrayal in the latters mind that fateful morning, and why his mood changed so dramatically.
The role of Catesby and his family connection to Eleanor Butler is appealing and his execution post Bosworth endorses the view. Maybe some day documentation from the pre-contract may emerge.....until then this explanation is the most convincing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking realistically at Richard 7 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
You could say that I'm a Ricardian. That I've never believed in the monster created by Shakespere and portrayed so magnificently by Olivier. Having said that Mr Hancock looks at the bizarre course of events that led to the extremely fast execution of Lord Hastings in the tower, and does so convincingly in a very well constructed book. Here we see Richard the man ( or as close to the man as is possible) but more importantly we see Richard set in his own time embroiled in the rather vicious politics of the day and not judged with modern day sympathies , values or morals. We see him struggling against all sorts of deceits, plots and betrayals by power hungry magnates. He was certainly up against it !
Shakespere's propaganda has ingrained itself into our English history. The Tudors rather tenuous claim to the throne of England had to be justified somehow and how better than to completely destroy the last Plantagenet king by word as well as by deed.
Whether you beleive in Shakespere and/ or the Tudor propaganda or not you should read this book. It is refreshing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Did Hastings Lose His Head?
Excellent account of the part the lawyer Catesby may have played in Richard's III's government, including strong theories about the hasty and unexpected execution of Lord Hastings.
Published 1 day ago by StoneLord1
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
could not understand it
Published 5 days ago by roy turner
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This book helps to re-align history and tells it as it was.
Published 11 days ago by Geoffrey Crabbe
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Somewhat disappointing!
Published 15 days ago by Janet Perkins
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Too much on dates- not enough story
Published 1 month ago by susieque
5.0 out of 5 stars Where do we go next?
A fascinating book, another one to add to my collection about Richard 111..... So many twists and turns, much to get your teeth into.
Published 1 month ago by Esmeval
3.0 out of 5 stars A well researched book worth checking out
Maybe slightly surprisingly, given the 3 star rating, I enjoyed reading this book. I have a strong interest in this period of history, though certainly not an authority, and I... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rigsby
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
itnothing news okay
Published 1 month ago by rosie
4.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting book. I learned more history from ...
A very interesting book. I learned more history from this book about the Lancasterians and Yorkhists than I did at school.
Published 1 month ago by Dormouse210
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing
A refreshing assessment of the evidence around the critical weeks from April to July 1483
Published 1 month ago by Jo
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