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Richard The Third [Hardcover]

Paul Murray Kendall
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Book Club Associates; Reprint edition (1968)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0010K0HR0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,585,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive biography of its time 3 Nov 2007
By Lynette Baines VINE VOICE
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paul Kendall Richard III 28 Sep 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Make your own mind up. 13 Sep 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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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive Ricardian biography. 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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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If I could give six stars for a book, I would want to give this one seven. I've seldom enjoyed a book so much as this. I knew and cared little about Richard III when I began reading but from the first page I couldn't put the book down. As a result, I read it so quickly that when I finished I found that I'd forgotten much about the beginning, so I am now enjoying the pleasure of re-reading it. In fact, the book deserves a second reading since it allows the reader to understand better how and where the multiplicity of players fit into the story and what was really going on behind the scenes of the drama.

The book combines very high academic standards with a novelist's story-telling abilities. It includes detailed references to what must be every extant book and record relating to Richard III. Furthermore, it is quite clear that the author has no axe to grind and no position to defend. He simply seeks truths that have been too long and too well hidden behind the propaganda promulgated by the Tudors who followed Richard to the throne. Shakespeare, who had only the Tudors' story to refer to and who in any case composed his plays about the Plantagenet kings in late Tudor times, carries more responsibility than anyone for broadcasting the fiction that Henry Tudor and his followers created.

Far from the crook-backed monster portrayed by Shakespeare, Kendall paints a picture of Richard as a fundamentally "good man" - good in the sense that he appears to have been an uxorious husband and a caring monarch who (almost unheard of in those days) showed genuine concern for his people and especially for the poor and disadvantaged.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars History of Richard111
Really good read extremely informative it's a long read but what a wealth of knowledge superb
Published 1 month ago by bettybell
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
very interesting.
Published 1 month ago by me
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive work made more timely by the recent discovery of ...
Definitive work made more timely by the recent discovery of Richard 111's remains. Clear, well researched, but also readable.. This new edition will impress.
Published 1 month ago by Sonia Bellhouse
5.0 out of 5 stars A biography of Richard 111
Having read many books about this fascinating King I would say this is one of the best . it is well written by an author who clearly understands his subject and I found it... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. Valerie M. King
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete and rich in historical references
This biography is an outstanding example of how history should be written: by researching original records and references and cross referencing them to outline a reasonable picture... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Isabella
1.0 out of 5 stars A perfect book for those in denial about the child and King killer...
This book will appeal to those who choose to live in denial about the traitor and child killer Richard. Read more
Published 4 months ago by MR RJ Downes
5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly and entertaining
I was very keen to learn more about the evidence for the life and times of Richard III and this is exactly the book I was looking for. Read more
Published 5 months ago by gimmielinda
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Read but Poor History
This book is the one most responsible for inspiring readers to become RICARDIANS and fight to salvage the reputation of England's most denigrated monarch. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Hank Norville Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best
Factual but very readable. I have read lots of fiction and non fiction about Richard III and think that if I could only have one book on the subject, this would be the one.
Published 9 months ago by S. Hugg
4.0 out of 5 stars A clearer view of Richard lll.
I felt the author was talking directly to the reader, some books are a touch obscure, with so many references to references that you lose the plot! Read more
Published 9 months ago by Joy Burns
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