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Perkin Hardcover – Illustrated, 3 Apr 2003
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"Extraordinary... Perkin is a masterclass in how biography can breathe life into the darkest and most inert pockets of the past" (Guardian)
"An unforgettable book... The best book I have ever reviewed in these pages" (Mail on Sunday)
"Gripping... With Perkin, Wroe has breathed new life into an obscure figure" (Daily Mail)
"A book that captures the temper of an age" (Financial Times)
"Rewards every moment of attention" (Sunday Telegraph)
An extraordinary work of history by the author of Pilate.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Engish sources were sure of the Warbeck story from as early as 1493, but Europeans were far less sure, and Wroe shows European monarchs such as Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian and Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella referring to Richard as the Duke or even as the King of England until a late date - and in Maximillian's case, until the end of his life. Whilst various European rulers certainly had political reasons for supporting a pretender, and may have known that this one was an imposter, their correspondence gives no clue of such knowledge; at times there was doubt and uncertainty as to whether he was Richard of York but they also had doubts that he was Perkin Warbeck. And in the case of Maximillian, Wroe shows him attempting to intevene to save Richard's life long after any political advantage could possibly have been gained from it - not something the Holy Roman Emperor would generally do for boatmen's sons from Tournai.Read more ›
Ann Wroe's book should go a long way to changing that - although sometimes her themes of appearance and image in early Tudor times drag slightly, and her attitude to whether Perkin is Richard, Duke of York, wavers a little during the book, this is still a fascinating account.
It takes a little while to get going, and while broadly following chronological order is simple and straightforward, it means you have a while to wait before much actually happens. But the attitudes of the monarchs of Europe, Perkin/Richard's marriage and his relations with Henry VII are fascinating.
A little shorter, and a little more focused, plus a bit more decisiveness on Wroe's part as to who she believes the 'White Rose', as he was called, to be, and this book could be perfect.
Still, a wonderful book for anyone interested in the period
This does not detract from a very well researched book with lots of reference to original sources. Ann Wroe really gets into the mind of Henry Tudor and we see how he operates; paranoia about the threat that Perkin poses, yes, but also how cautious and canny he is about his ensnarement and downfall. It's amazing to think how much trouble a commoner caused a king.
My main purpose in buying the book was to understand the role that Sir Robert Clifford played in this plot and in that, the author goes into great detail. The only observation I would make is that she falls into the trap of many historians, and misunderstands why he was prepared to be implicated and then reconciled. The answer is quite simple, Cliiford wanted to wreak revenge on his family's sworn enemy, Sir William Stanley, and he brings about his downfall in a dramatic and masterful fashion.
In my opinion, for what it is worth, I think Perkin was the son of a Flemish boatman and not the long-lost Richard, Duke of York. But whoever he was, he certainly caused many a sleepless night for the newly crowned Tudor monarch, and Ann Wroe conveys that with aplomb.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the first Ann Wroe I've read and I was smitten - although it certainly looked like a heavy history tome (very small print and long paragraphs) I couldn't put it down. Read morePublished 1 month ago by thetruthshallsetyefree
Surprised by this book. Very flowery language. Very longwinded. I found it a hard read. I tried to like it and to get to grips with it but it disappointed by allowing the way it... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Kate
I came to this book as a recommendation from the list of sources at the end of Philippa Gregory's White Princess (the Elizabeth of York story). Read morePublished 17 months ago by Terrahurtz
Well researched and well sourced debate on the truth about Perkin Warbeck and his claims to be Richard of York. Read morePublished on 13 Mar. 2015 by Banditqueen
A beautifully written account, filled with details of the period and evocative of the culture of the time. Read morePublished on 21 Feb. 2015 by Elizabeth's honour
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