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The Princes in the Tower Paperback – 15 Oct 1992


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: The Bodley Head Ltd (15 Oct 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0370317920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0370317922
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 767,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alison Weir lives and works in Surrey. Her books include Britain's Royal Families, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Children of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry VIII: King and Court, Mary, Queen of Scots and Isabella: She-Wolf of France.

Product Description

Review

"The mystery of the princes in the Tower is a cause of outrage as well as a whodunit . . . a deeply researched appraisal."--Ruth Rendell, "Daily Telegraph" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Alison Weir investigates one of the most enduring murder mysteries in English history - the death of the lost Princes in the tower, nephews of Richard III, whose body has recently been discovered. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By SusanS on 9 Mar 2013
Format: Paperback
I have read other Alison Weir books and usually enjoy them; they are written in an interesting, almost chatty way and I feel the author really brings the figures to life.

I am not a Ricardian, nor do I think Richard III was the devil incarnate, and I was hoping for an impartial, factual read- (the likes of which A J Pollard or Charles Ross would produce)- by an author I previously enjoyed.

This book is not Ms Weir's best.

I feel she decided that Richard III is guilty as Hell and has absolutely no redeeming features whatsover- and she starts from there.
I wanted to read an intelligent book about Richard III and the princes in the tower- not someone's opinion/foregone conclusion which they labour to "prove" throughout the book.

Personally, I do think Richard III did probably kill the princes in the tower and I don't hold with the opinion that he was an innocent saint.
However, other writers manage to get this point across without going down the tired old route of Richard as the classic pantomine villain who, after a hard day's plotting, planning, biting on his lip and usurping, sits down to a "celebratory dinner". Quite possibly complete with an evil cackle and rubbing his hands together in glee.

I also found some of the "evidence" used by Alison Weir a bit dubious. The textile evidence- proof that the skeletons in the tower are the princes, is pure heresay. I found it every bit as melodramatic as some of the more fervent Ricardians, trying to convince us Richard was absolutely fautless.

I think the book is worth a read, as it covers the basics. This has probably put me off buying more of Alison Weir's books, as I am now of the opinion she is unobjective and possibly inaccurate.
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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. D. J. Smith VINE VOICE on 6 Oct 2004
Format: Paperback
Alison Weir is perhaps best known for her Tudor history titles and I will not hesitate to recommend these to you, but unfortunately her pro-Tudor/Lancastrian bias is all too evident in this look at Richard III and the 'Princes in the Tower'. She informs the reader that she will be taking an objective look at the facts, but it's pretty clear that from the outset she has already pronounced her verdict!
To give Weir credit, it's a well written book and if you are interested in this subject you might like to read it, but if you do, PLEASE make sure you read some other theories too - and then make up your own mind from the available evidence.
She presents her 'theory' with such conviction of it's being the truth, that's it's easy for the uninitiated reader to take her word as gospel. Her theory is, however, precariously balanced - a house of cards built on a foundation of assumptions. She takes Sir Thomas More pretty much as gospel, because he has 'the ring of authenticity', despite the fact that he was a child when Richard was piteously slain, and few historians take him without a large pinch of salt and where he can be substantiated from other sources. Of course, when More's writings do not fit Weir's theory, he must be mistaken, of course....
The analysis of the skeletons found in the Tower is interesting, but her reliance on the textile 'evidence' for these being the Princes is weak. There is one report on the discovery of bones which mentions pieces of 'rag and velvet'. This was from an eye witness, not a textile expert, and the fabric has not been seen since, so it's hardly concrete proof that they are even of the period we are looking at!
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Feb 2005
Format: Paperback
This was the first book I read on the subject of the princes and I picked Alison Weir's book because I had read her retelling of the Wars of the Roses and found it to be very clear and ejoyable. Indeed I found this book to be the same. However when I started to read around the subject I realised just how impartial she was not. She clearly loathed Richard III from the start. She had her theory ie as guilty as hell and she was going to interpret every single fact in that light.
She sees the devil in every single one of Richard's acts. Most critics allow Richard to be a good ruler even if they find him guilty of the murder of his nephews. Not miss Weir. I do not wish to discourage anyone from reading this book but please do not let her be the only author you read on this subject. Bertram Fields provides a good analysis of this book and would be an excellent choice for reading straight after.
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69 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Max Holt on 15 Nov 2009
Format: Paperback
If you want a non-biased, impartial, factual read with primary sources to back up the facts on the 'Wars of the Roses & deaths of the Princes in the Tower' - then this is NOT for you.
After a few minutes reading I had to get my pen out & start striking through assumptions, quotes that the author claimed to be contemporary which were in fact reports/stories that were written many years after the events took place (which is quite clear if you check her appendix!), gossip & tittle-tattle quoted as fact, & most glaringly of all, the authors complete bias against Richard III. She is even quoting, in her own words, 'an untrustworthy source' (ref Molinet, page 149) - if the source is untrustworthy then why is a historian even using it?!
Irritatingly she states the emotions of the source of her gossip and the main players too! Which is fine for a historical fiction but not for a 'fact based history book'.
Uses text such as 'ALMOST CERTAINLY...this happened'P123 & P148 'More was PROBABLY nearer the truth when he conjectured...'!
There is also a number of inconsistencies in her version of events.
EG that the author of the Croyland Chronicle is ANONYMOUS (p4) yet goes on to assume who this person was & (p126) that he WAS on the Council!
& On P141 she says that 'Rivers had been deputy constable but that appointment had LAPSED when he was arrested.' But earlier that 'Rivers had GIVEN the appointment to Dorset!'
This is not a good book! & I'm surprised that the cover includes quotes such as 'Absorbing' Sunday Times, lucidly written - oh also Sunday Times(!) - NOT!
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