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The Last Days of Richard III and the fate of his DNA and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
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The Last Days of Richard III Paperback – 1 Jun 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (1 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752459600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752459608
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 563,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Recently awarded an MBE in recognition of the key role he played in the rediscovery of Richard III, John Ashdown-Hill [http://www.johnashdownhill.com/ & https://www.facebook.com/johnashdownhillhistorian] is the historian who discovered Richard III's mtDNA sequence in 2004. Together with his work for the BBC on the myth that Richard's body was thrown into a river, and his research on Richard's grave site, this provided the key data used by the LOOKING FOR RICHARD PROJECT [http://looking-for-richard.webs.com/] who then employed ULAS (the University of Leicester Archaeological Services) to find Richard III's remains in 2012.

Product Description

Review

"["The Last Days of Richard "III"] "should prove of interest to anyone who wants to go deeper into this watershed moment in English history." --The Historical Novels Review

About the Author

JOHN ASHDOWN-HILL is an historian and a member of the Royal Historical Society, the Society of Genealogists, the Richard III Society and the Centre Europeen d'Etudes Bourguignonnes. He is the author of Eleanor, the Secret Queen and Richard III's 'Beloved Cousyn' (as well as numerous articles in The Ricardian)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Digital on 4 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Unfortunately, this book did not work for me. I was swayed by the other reviews to buy the Kindle edition as a 'new' Rickardian, and had enjoyed the two television programmes, so thought it would be better than I found it. As a lecture on medieval life and customs, it probably fits the bill, but to learn more about Richard 111, it did not. There seemed to be a lot of academic padding, with long tangential passages, eg:. Henry Tudor has landed at Milford Haven, Richard goes hunting at Nottingham - there are pages about how the hunting reserve was created, who created it; did Richard go hawking, what are the best birds for hawking etc. Not what I really wanted to know, given the drama of the situation. On the day of Bosworth, the author agonises over whether Richard had breakfast before Mass, what he had for breakfast, or indeed, did he actually have Mass at all. Christian festivals are described in detail, and the author at times quite waspishly dismisses other historians' accounts of Richard's last days as 'nonsense'; this isn't what I wanted to know at this particular time. The second part of the book goes into minute detail about the lives of Richard's descendants - people I don't actually have any interest in - so I'm afraid the book didn't really work for me. I hope Philippa Langley's book will be a better read when it is published.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By mark eliot on 15 Aug. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I confess an interest in Richard III and have read fairly extensively around the fifteenth century so I approached this fairly short book not expecting to find much new within. I have to say however the narrative style was very clear and the whole concept of taking the king through his last months and beyond into the whole debate of where his body is and who exists today as distant relatives provided a new angle on a much written about king. The illustrations are refreshingly different from the usual and the book is attractive overall. I thought there was little more to say on his short period as monarch, it just shows how you can be wrong! The book is well suited for the lover of medieval history or those who have read on Richard III previously. Very enjoyable.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By C. Aitken on 4 July 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was interesting for filling in some gaps about Richard's activities before his death, but most interesting of all was the discussion of the current state of play re DNA research into these last Plantagenets and their modern descendants. I did not think I would have found this section as interesting as it was. The discussion of the fate of Richard's tomb was illuminating and his theory that Henry Tudor built something more up-market in response to the Warbeck threat is an interesting one. Despite this I confess that, like strawberries, it left an unsatisfied feeling behind, something there should have been (like cream), but wasn't, and I can't put my finger on what it is! Nevertheless, essential reading for any Ricardian, and certainly not the sort of book which the anti-Richards can scream bias about!
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Charles on 31 July 2010
Format: Hardcover
John Ashdown-Hill has done it again to follow up his excellent and intriguing book, Eleanor the secret Queen. This time he does what all good historians should do - take you to the appropriate moment and examine the subject, having tried to forget the future. Following the example of Micheal Jones, who tries to portray Richard as a proactive king rather than the reactive monarch of Shakespeare, Ashdown Hill's Richard becomes quite different. His day to day rituals and acts of routine piety are related in detail and the fact that Richard went hunting a few days before Bosworth; not the action of a nervous underconfident King. As a Dr I was very much persuaded by his conjecture that Richard may have been ill before Bosworth, accounting for his possible nightmares. We all have apprehensions before a big day but Richard's possible dreams sound much more like a pyrexia than just nerves. Did he suffer from the contemporary sweating sickness? Was he ill on the morning of Bosworth and was he overkeen to get the thing over with? Ashdown-Hill is also much kinder to Henry; Henry's treatment of Richard was in fact straightforward and proper (being killed in battle was after all unique for a post Norman King!)Richard's body was slung over the back of a horse; how else would you do it? Henry did not pre-date his reign from 21st August. He then goes on a hunt for Richard's mitochondial DNA following this with the possibility that Richard's remains could still exist. If so Richard could be identified positively and so many answers, his height, his deformity or lack of it, his mode of death could be established. Ashdown-Hill's scholarship combined with a vision of revelation make this another tasty meal for those who wish to set the Historical record of Richard III straight.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By K. J. Greenland on 26 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Forget Tudor history, which is what I've been overdosing on over the past few years. Richard III is where it's at! My knowledge of this period is pitiful to say the least but has never been based on the one-sided, two-dimensional rubbish you are fed on in primary school.

John Ashdown-Hill writes of Richard's last 150 days refreshingly without hindsight, of a religious man who believed in his right to be king, a man who was confident of victory against Henry Tudor and a man looking to the future after the recent deaths of his son and wife. The initial eight chapters covering the last 150 days are compulsory reading for both novices and those well read in Ricardian history.

The remainder discusses the whereabouts of Richard's body, tracing Richard's DNA to the present to aid this. Where is Richard buried is of course still an important unanswered question, but I did find this chapter a little too detailed and scientific for my liking.

Thank you John. You have helped me escape the Tudors!
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