11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Great Pretender., 23 Aug 2004
I admit I bought the book with no great hopes for it - was there anything useful to be written about this man? After all, we 'did' both Pretenders in 'O' level history in about 20 seconds flat. They have been cruelly yoked together as a kind of comic double-act.
The latter, Perkin Warbeck, has cause both to thank and curse Anne Wroe. He's alive on the page again, but once more he's merely a tool. His struggles to become a bigger chunk in the cesspit of revenge, greed, fear and paranoia that passed for politics in the late Middle Ages are merely an excuse for Wroe to explore some big themes - identity, symbol & display, value and worth. It's more than a history book, though. Wry, funny, insightful and at times profound, it doesn't neglect the grubby, unpleasant little details, bizarre practices or untimely deaths that make history so enjoyable.
It deserves a wider readership than it's currently getting.