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The Life And Times Of Richard III Hardcover – 1992

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: BCA [Book Club Associates - Guild Publishing] (1992)
  • ASIN: B002NPSBI8
  • Product Dimensions: 25 x 18 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,669,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
I read this book because I am about to start a renaissance history A level course, and decided to do some background reading. Shakespeare's Richard III has always been my favourite play, and yet I am aware that this is purely Tudor propaganda. Richard III is the king everyone loves to hate, but Anthony Cheetham delves deeper into the personality and background of our most mysterious monarch, and discovers a man who was a victim of circumstance. It is very difficult to write comprehensive biography of this man since so little is known about his life before he became king. Being the youngest brother of Edward IV (who had two sons) he was only ever fifth in line to the throne (hardly in the limelight), in a time when war split families down the middle, it was only after his two elder brothers turned against each other that Richard came near to the crown. I feel that the most interesting aspect of the book was the chapter where Cheetham probes into the mystery surrounding the princes in the tower. Who killed them? Were they killed at all? I find the smoke cloud surrounding Edward V and his younger brother the most intriguing period in British history. Why is Oliver Stone wasting his time with Nixon and JFK? He should take a peek at the Tower of London! The thing everyone forgets is that Shakespeare wrote his history plays for performance in front of Elizabeth I, Henry Tudor's grand-daughter. She would not have been best pleased to see a play dismissing her grand-father's theories about his enemy as mere propaganda, would she? A question this shys away from however is: Why did the Tudor's pick on Richard III, when his older brother Edward IV was the one that initially defeated the House of Lancaster? Maybe Richard wasn't the most villified king after all. Maybe he desserves his reputation.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Highly readable account of the life and times of Richard 111. I recommend this book to all seeking information about the maligned king.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not a bad read, but a little schoolish, I felt as if I was ten years old, not really anything new, If you want a good history book,then Alison Weir, and Lady Antonia Fraser. are brilliant historians,
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Format: Paperback
Richard III has always been portrayed as this gruesome king who killed his young nephews.
In this book, the author tries to see beyond the myths and the nasty stories that were told by the Tudors. There have been some talk about who really killed the two boys: Richard III or Henry VII. In this book Cheetham gives us his opinion, and I enjoyed reading it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x98b0cb34) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9888f804) out of 5 stars My kingdom for a fair read of a reviled regent. 19 Feb. 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is an eminently readable text. The author is a good story teller. He effectively uses a narrative style that brings these historical characters to life. He begins by setting Richard in his historical context. Briefly reviewing the events from the minority of Richard II, which set in motion the events leading to the Wars of the Roses he weaves the tapestry that becomes Richard III.
Cheetham (the author) goes to great pains to show the complexity of Richard's personality contrasted with the power-driven tyrant of Shakespeare's work. Additionally, he helps the reader by continually reminding us of the role of the supporting characters in this unfolding drama.
Finally, the author painstakingly looks at alternative theories surrounding the deaths of young King Edward V and Prince Richard. He does not mention the unlikely theory that they were spirited away for safekeeping. Rather, he explores the possibilities that others besides Richard III had motive and opportunity to murder the youths. This is not mere alibi for Richard, since he demonstrates the holes in each theory.
In the end this book gives even treatment of Richard and his accomplishments and his misdeeds. It is a fair review of a monarch that has suffered from more bad press than he deserves.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98c445f4) out of 5 stars A balanced view of Richard III 6 July 2009
By Steven Peterson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So, did Richard III kill the young king and the young prince? Was he this bloodthirsty king? Was he hump-backed?

This book does a nice job of laying out what we know about King Richard III's life. I don't know about other readers, but I depended heavily on pages 218-219 (where a genealogical tree is provided) to keep the players straight. Again, for others this might not be a problem, but I sometimes lost sight of who was who and how each was related to another in the complex, shifting tides of dynastic conflict, characterized by the War of the Roses.

The book depicts the struggles between the House of York and the House of Lancaster (I live in central Pennsylvania, and the cities of York and Lancaster are called, fittingly enough, the Red Rose City and the White Rose City). Part of the struggle over time that makes it so complex was the many leaders who would switch sides to gain advantage. Treachery was a part of the ongoing conflict.

In this tapestry, the life of Richard III is discussed and assessed. At times, he was "in" as he grew up; at other times he was "out" (fleeing abroad for awhile until the political temper in England allowed his return). Overall, he is described as capable, a successful military leader and administrator at a young age.

When his father died, leaving the crown to a very young son, Richard was named as the Protector. Given the uncertainty of the times, Richard eventually took the opportunity to imprison the young king and his brother and take the crown himself. The two eventually died in the Tower of London. What happened? The other does a careful analysis of this and--in the end--can't make a definitive judgment. But his "default" logic is at least sensible.

Then, the short reign of Richard III and his defeat in battle.

The book does nicely in, first, simply describing Richard's life and, second, trying to place it in context and assess is role in history.

If interested in a nonpartisan account of this controversial royal figure, this is not a bad starting point.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98a79fd8) out of 5 stars Easy-to-read overview of the life of Richard III 10 Jun. 2007
By JaneConsumer - Published on
Format: Paperback
The book is a good start for anyone interested in learning more about Richard III. It's enjoyable - reading more like a novel than a history text. Moreover, the book is filled with black-and-white as well as color illustrations with brief descriptions of their significance to Richard or the times.

In addition to being well-written, the book is an objective overview of Richard's life as well as the times in which he lived. He paints Richard neither as villian nor saint, but as a man charged with much responsibility at a young age and during troubled times.

For more in-depth coverage of Richard III, read Jeremy Potter's GOOD KING RICHARD? or Charles Ross's RICHARD III. The first reviews historical assessments of the man while the latter is a detailed biography.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9899a00c) out of 5 stars I liked this book 3 May 2012
By Fred III - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really liked this book. It isn't long, only a little over 200 pages so it doesn't go into a lot of detail, but it gives a good overview of Richard III's life, death, and what was said about him afterwords. There are a lot of good pictures and drawings in the book, some maps and a family tree of the royal family from Edward III which is always needed with any War of the Roses book. The author doesn't try to make Richard look good or bad. This is a good book for a basic understanding of who Richard was and what was happening in England during his life. I'm glad I bought and read this book.
HASH(0x98aeecc0) out of 5 stars Five Stars 6 Mar. 2016
By Walt concerned - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book is in excellent condition. Thanks.
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