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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very solid history
John Ashdown-Hill is rapidly becoming one of my favourite historians of the late medieval period. I loved his book on the last months of Richard III and this very attractive history is as before meticulous in its research and yet remains very readable. I like the short chapters, broken down s that in a busy lifestyle you can quickly pick it up and read a chapter. He takes...
Published 3 months ago by mark eliot

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but limited
I really enjoyed Ashdown-Hill's book on Richard III, this book is not so informative regarding George.
There is a lot of time spent on both Richard and their elder brother Edward IV and I suppose that is because they both ruled England so their lives were well documented. So little is known about George that a lot of this is "perhaps" "maybe" and...
Published 3 months ago by Mec


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very solid history, 14 April 2014
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This review is from: The Third Plantagenet: George, Duke of Clarence, Richard III's Brother (Hardcover)
John Ashdown-Hill is rapidly becoming one of my favourite historians of the late medieval period. I loved his book on the last months of Richard III and this very attractive history is as before meticulous in its research and yet remains very readable. I like the short chapters, broken down s that in a busy lifestyle you can quickly pick it up and read a chapter. He takes you through the complex politics of the period explaining the different players and not presuming knowledge. I do know a lot about this period, but there was plenty there to hold me and I feel for the general reader there equally would be a lot of interest. The illustrations help and add to the pages and the story of Clarence itself is a fascinating one. I didn't know, for example, about all the 'behind the scenes' contact between Edward IV and Clarence during the 1470 'difficulties.' The whole tale of Clarence is an essential guide as well to understanding the politics of the accession of Richard III, many of the stories on Edward IV and his marital escapades had been in circulation much earlier than when Richard raised them.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but limited, 20 April 2014
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This review is from: The Third Plantagenet: George, Duke of Clarence, Richard III's Brother (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed Ashdown-Hill's book on Richard III, this book is not so informative regarding George.
There is a lot of time spent on both Richard and their elder brother Edward IV and I suppose that is because they both ruled England so their lives were well documented. So little is known about George that a lot of this is "perhaps" "maybe" and "almost".
However all that said Ashdown-Hill has an easy to read engaging style of writing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing, 15 May 2014
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This review is from: The Third Plantagenet: George, Duke of Clarence, Richard III's Brother (Hardcover)
I couldn't wait to get a copy of this book as there is so little about the Duke of Clarence. I'm afraid this really didn't add much to what is already out there. There was an awful lot of amateur psychology at the beginning of the book and numerous references to internet sites - which can only mean secondary material. There were also some very strange assertions made about the Duke’s height based on small drawings of him and Richard 111 and much was made of the psychological impact of the fact that he may not have been very tall! As I said at the beginning - sadly very disappointing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Far too many presumptions, 13 May 2014
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Maggie Kelly (Moseley, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Lots of "May be assumed that..." and "could be..." In this book. Little evidence to back them up. For instance - suggesting that Richard's back / shoulder deformity came from an accident at sea when he was a small boy. The evidence for this is where?

Not easy to read in this format because of the overuse of footnotes and not a terribly engaging style.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Third Plantagenet : George, Duke of Clarence., 21 May 2014
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I have always wanted to read a book about George. This book tells us about his childhood and why, perhaps he behaved as he did in adulthood. Throughout the many books about this period, George is always seen as the tall, golden haired, handsome, favourite son of his mother. This book says he was below average height, probably smaller that Richard and dark haired - confusing. As with most books that are not fictional, everything is maybe George did this or that, because... Or maybe George was here or there. Truthfully we just don't know. It is a shame though that other coffins were put into the Clarence Vault and that George's and Isabel's bones are in a glass case now - well maybe. George's bone will, I am sure will undergo mitrachondrial DNA testing at some point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Badly written, 1 Jun 2014
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Badly written and offering no new insights into this enigmatic figure. It reads like an MA dissertation and these tortuous essays never usually make it into print.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 18 July 2014
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Another excellent book from John Ashdown - Hill. Very well written as expected from this ( quite rightly ) highly respected author, and quoting his sources, which are very important I think. George, Duke of Clarence, was clearly a flawed character but this book does give an insight as to why he may have behaved the way he did. It is a great shame that Mr Ashdown - Hill seems to have been very much side - lined since the confirmation that the " king in the car park " WAS Richard III, as indeed does the whole " Looking For Richard " team who instigated the whole dig, provided most of the finance and certainly ALL of the interest and determination in locating Richard !!!. Leicester Uni ,council and associated " partners " seem to have decided that the truly momentous discovery of the remains of Richard III was entirely due to THEM and their efforts.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unable to get through this, 21 May 2014
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Having had an interest in the Wars of the Roses for 30 years, and a history degree where they taught us the importance of evidence, I was intrigued to read this.
However, I am so annoyed by all the statements of 'fact' and cod-psychology in this book, and worry that people will read this and believe it all. So far it has been stated that Beaufort was the father of Edmund and Jasper Tudor as he was in a relationship with Katherine de Valois. And then he went on to father Edward of Westminster after an affair with Henry VI's wife. The Talbot/ Edward IV marriage is also presented as a fact.
The writer has suggested that Clarence's behaviour was due to his small stature and Richard's scholiosis was caused by an injury at sea. And George was psychologically damaged by not having a positive male role model in his life!
I nearly bought a hard back copy of this. Thank goodness I only paid a very reduced Kindle price. This just feels like an attempt to cash in on the Richard III story rather than a genuine analysis of the facts. I also found his writing style quite patronising, but perhaps I am the wrong audience for this book, having some knowledge of the times and people.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr Ashdown Hill does it again!!, 26 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Third Plantagenet: George, Duke of Clarence, Richard III's Brother (Hardcover)
I have read all of Dr Ashdown Hill's books on this period and this one does not disappoint. I like the way that he sticks to the point of the story and has a simple, but stylish writing style. Clarence has always been stereo-typed into a trouble making drunkard (at bit like his younger brother Richard III was), but here it seems he isn't. Was he a boy suffering from abandonment issues after the death of his father and with no role model? There are so many facts about him and I found the chapter on height and growth and especially the chapter about the Clarence vault very interesting. I am hoping that Dr Ashdown Hill can eventually get to the end of story and prove that the bones in the vault are his. Recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Even false, fleeting, perjur'd Clarence deserves better than this..., 3 Jun 2014
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C. Ball (Derbyshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Third Plantagenet: George, Duke of Clarence, Richard III's Brother (Hardcover)
This was a disappointing read. 'False, fleeting, perjur'd Clarence' is a truly intriguing figure, living in a turbulent, tumultuous era, involved in great events, brother to two kings - and yet this book bored me. I've not read any of John Ashdown-Hill's books on Richard III, and based on this I don't think I will.

Between the pop psychological analysis of George, absurd speculative conclusions on his personality based on his height(!), assumptions and guesswork about what he 'might' have thought and what he 'might' have felt, and the completely groundless hypothesis that Richard's curvature of the spine may have been caused by an accident at sea during the boys' first exile, this book completely lost me less than halfway through - and I have to confess to rather skim-reading the rest, which is very rare for me. And I'm sorry, but no self-respecting academic and historian should ever be citing Wikipedia in the notes field!

It is true that history has rather neglected Clarence, dazzled by the splendour of Edward IV and the controversy of Richard III, but sadly we are still waiting for a biography to really do him justice. This is not it.
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