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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book Of Two Halves, 11 Jun. 2013
This review is from: The Last Days of Richard III and the fate of his DNA: the Book that Inspired the Dig (Paperback)
If you're a Ricardian, you'll give this 5 stars. If not, you'll enjoy the first half and then be bored by the detail. This is serious stuff, but then the author has a very serious point to make - that the remains found in that Leicester car park are indeed those of King Richard III - and he makes it with a rigour that should satisfy the most stringent examining board, or jury. Of course, establishing that long-dead remains are indeed those of a King of England tells us little of the man's personality or character, but concentrating on the known facts of Richard's last 150 days is very revealing.

Increasingly now, we're coming to believe King Richard III was not the evil being of Shakespeare's great play; that the Welsh Tudors had in fact done a thorough job of assassinating the character of the last English King because their claim to the throne was so weak. One key fact the narrative brings home is that this was a man who had just lost his beloved wife and his only (legitimate) son within a year of each other. A man also troubled that his elder brother King Edward IV had married bigamously and so his children were bastards and the throne once more at risk. Hence Richard's 'usurpation' of his nephew, for the good of the Plantagenet cause. Yes, it suited Richard to eliminate 'the Princes in the Tower', but of course, it suited Henry Tudor even more, as his claim was far weaker than Richard's.

So this book is a welcome addition to the growing body of evidence that Richard was not the man history has handed down to us. But it is a book of two halves. The first half is riveting and revealing, but once Richard's dead - arguably charging bravely straight at his enemy to end the battle early and so minimise loss of life - verifying his remains is dull stuff, if an essential process.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Sep 2013 11:40:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Sep 2013 11:41:06 BDT
Poor Richard!
Having to carry on under the burdensome knowledge that his nephew was illegitimate and being left no choice but to do everything moral legal and ethical to correct the legitimate flow of the Plantagenet succession...Then being blamed for the Princes disappearance - when Henry Tudor (who, in 1483, was little more than a squatter living off the charity of the French) used his awesome Machiavellian powers to have them killed and the deed blamed on poor Richard....

Also, did I mention I have a bridge you may quite like to buy....?
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