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The King's Grave: The Search for Richard III by [Langley, Philippa, Jones, Michael]
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The King's Grave: The Search for Richard III Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 276 customer reviews

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Review

In almost the exact spot where Langley had first become convinced she was standing on top of Richard's grave, a careful flick of a trowel revealed the leg bone of what would turn out to be the remains of the king, complete with the twisted, scoliosis spine so compellingly placed centre stage by Shakespeare. Now the remarkable story of King Richard's life and death - and the amazing journey of the intuitive woman who never gave up believing that she would one day find his body - has been brought together in this fascinating and informative book (Lancashire Evening Post)

A history-making book which I had trouble putting down (Historical Novel Society)

Jones's historical chapters are measured, reasonable and elegantly written (Sunday Times)

[Philippa Langley] has just written a compelling book with historian and friend Michael Jones . . . It is cleverly constructed: in alternate chapters she tells the story of her quest, while Michael details the life of Richard colourfully. It reads like an up-all-night thriller (Mail on Sunday)

This is the year that Richard III rose up from his unmarked grave in a Leicester car park, and this is the book that describes the painstaking quest for the king's body, and the battle that destroyed him. Philippa Langley pursued his remains, Michael Jones pursued his reputation and together they have written a book which explains and defines the battle where he died, the grave that was lost, and the legend that followed him. This book is about an important excavation indeed, of the body from a lost grave, and of a king from a long libel (Philippa Gregory)

The King's Grave . . . reveals the remarkable story of how the remains came to be unearthed. And the result is a compelling portrayal of one of this century's most important archaeological discoveries (BBC History Magazine)

History at its most fascinating (www.booksmonthly.co.uk/nonfic.html)

A . . . page-turner (Current Archaeology)

Langley's invaluable contribution to the investigation is undisputed; she envisioned, facilitated and drove it for years. Her confidential, breathy, diary-style chapters recreate the immediacy of the dig for the reader . . . The Search for Richard III makes for compelling reading (TLS)

Jones's cogent and nuanced narrative provides the historical ballast to Langley's search (Guardian)

Interesting [and] engaging (Daily Express)

The King's Grave tells two remarkable stories in alternating chapters (Wall Street Journal)

Fascinating (Bookseller)

Book Description

The real life, death and remarkable discovery of history's most controversial monarch.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5996 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (3 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CIVLYYA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 276 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #104,713 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this an interesting and exciting read. The alternating of chapters relating to the finding of Richard III's bones and the history leading up to Bosworth adds to the enjoyment.

I found Philippa Langley's chapters relating to her journey interesting and exciting. Whilst some of her personal comments might sound strange, I put these aside - at the end of the day, her obsession and determination achieved what she set out to do, and she should be praised for that.

Michael Jones chapters were particularly good reading - particularly the chapter on Bosworth, and the moments leading up to the demise of Richard - this really was un-putdownable and almost compares to a blockbuster film - it left me wanting to read more by Mr Jones.

I would have liked more detail behind the science of the dig and the finding of the bones - that is what is missing from this book. I also found myself constantly going back to the selection of pictorial maps in the book, to better understand the positioning of the trenches and their finds - so, perhaps an overlaying map at the front of the book would have been useful - ie all together, overlaying all of the different periods and finds, together with compass points.

I have read several books on Richard III. I see myself as an objective reader of Richard - accepting that we don't know all of the facts, that these were turbulent times and very different to our own.

I recommend this book to anyone considering reading it
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book represents the culmination of the work of dedicated Ricardian, Phillipa Langley, and her relentless search for the remains of King Richard the Third, which were disposed of hastily and without ceremony after his defeat at Bosworth. Her refusal to give up, her lobbying for resources, and her emotional connection to the project are well documented in her paragraphs of the work, which alternate with a very clear and dispassionate examination of the life and very short reign of this monarch, whose reputation suffered at the hands of Tudor propagandists.

The "R" in the carpark is possibly one of the strangest trigger points for an archaeological dig ever, but Phillipa's instincts were so strong, and so absolutely right, that it is almost as if Richard himself was guiding the work.

Michael Jones on the other hand is not an emotional writer, and bases his historical interpretations of Richard's life and career on solid research: his work definitely redresses some of the Tudorbethan bad press that sought to bolster in every way, the slender right of Henry the Seventh to take the throne. So, not an evil Shakespearean Crookback, but a highly intelligent and physically brave man who fought to his last breath to hang on to his kingdom. The fate of his nephews, the Princes in the Tower, remains an enigma and an unresolved crime although it is clear that Richard was not the only person with an interest in their removal from the scene.

His recovered skeleton, showing significant scoliosis in his spine, indicates that he was much burdened by pain from the curvature during his life, and the sensitive reconstruction of the facial features gives us a wonderful glimpse into a long vanished past which casts a spell to this day.

This is not the best history book you will ever read, but it is very good and on Langley's part at least, written with love.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is almost a "can't put down book". The process/progress of the search is skilfully interleaved with a lucid and up to date reviews of the life of Richard III. The book has just the right amount of detail for a general reader. The notes and a bibliography allow anybody wanting to delve deeper, whether they are are a general reader or a serious student of Richard III.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was surprised at how exciting this was considering I have watched the Channel 4 " King in the Car Park" ... on more than one occasion I must confess. I just could not wait to get on to the next day of Philippa's search. A masterstroke to have the chapters alternating with Michael Jones' take on Richard and his actions. It really emphasises how much we should beware of looking at persons in history from a modern mind set, living through the Wars if the Roses was like trying to survive in a war zone . A HIGHLY recommended read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My comments mirror those of others reviewers of this book. The chapters alternate one from Philippa Langley giving the present day events of the discovery of King Richard then one from Michael Jones giving the historical background of the kings life. I honestly could not put this book down even though I knew the history of Richard and I knew the outcome that he would be found after over 500 years. I loved the format of the book being transported from the 21st century one chapter back to the 15th in the next. There were times when I thought I was reading a novel that would make a very good film the way that the remains were found but as we know it is true. There will no doubt be many other books written on this subject...especially after they a decide where King Richard will eventually be laid to rest. I thoughly recommend this book whether you know little of the historical period or you are an expert.....just be warned clear your diary for a couple of days as nothing else will get done !
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