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Richard III: The Maligned King Paperback – 20 Jul 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; Reprint edition (20 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752452088
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752452081
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

After studying at the Royal College of Music, Annette Carson worked for several years in the entertainment industry while indulging a leisure interest in aerobatics, on which she is a renowned expert and has contributed to Encyclopaedia Britannica. In a professional writing career of 30 years she has been an editor and an award-winning copywriter. Her last book before retirement was a biography of guitarist Jeff Beck. From 1990 to 2010 she worked in South Africa where she became involved with the Karoo Animal Protection Society, to which she still devotes energy since returning to the UK. She was the lead campaigner in a case against the selective freezing of pensions for British expatriates which reached the ECHR. The Richard III controversy first came to her attention at the time of Olivier siconic film portrayal, and remains a topic of research on which she writes extensively. In 2011 she was invited by Philippa Langley to join the team searching for the king s lost grave which found and exhumed Richard s remains for honourable reburial."


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Having read almost everything out there on Richard, by both sides, I found this one, bias aside, to be one of the best argued and best put together. It introduced new slants such as the possibility that Edward IV was poisoned and used its avaiable documentary material well. I have seen lesser historians on the ant-Ricardian side put together far less convincing and far more biased cases than this, and I felt her obsevations were generally justified or at worst viable positive interpretations not unsupported by the evidence. At no time did I feel she was going beyond where the evidence could viably take her, and as a Ricardian I was pleased to see the3 case, finally, put cogently and succinctly. It's a winer for any Riccardian, and any anti-Ricardian should at leats find food for thought in it.
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This isn't so much a biography of Richard III as it is an attempt to disprove or refute all of the various slanders and untruths that his reputation has accumulated over the centuries. Carson examines Richard's reign chronologically and, using the sources of the time, attempts to discover what actually happened. She has some interesting theories, such as the argument that perhaps Edward IV was poisoned or that the 'princes in the Tower' were not murdered, by Richard or anyone else, but escaped to Flanders; but at no point does she ever say 'this is fact', as so many historians do. This book isn't about rewriting history, merely pointing out that so much of what we think is history is actually supposition, assumption, guesswork and often pure fiction.
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Format: Paperback
Annette Carson's book on Richard III throws a bomb into the Tudor/Shakespearean image of this monarch, and delivers one of the clearest and best defences King Richard could have wished for.
Taking each of the so-called 'crimes' he has been accused of individually, she goes back to before the fog invented by the Tudors to justify their usurpation of a crown they had little claim to, and looks at contemporary accounts of events. She then adds something missing from books written about this period by nearly all other writers, common sense and humanity. Each event is looked at from all sides, pro Richard and anti viewpoints are weighed in the balance, and documents scrupulously investigated, studied, and their validity judged. Then the questions of 'Was this scenario possible?' and 'If not, why not?' are asked.
The result is a simply stunning piece of historical writing, that I cannot recommend highly enough. In this wonderful book Annette Carson shows that occasionally history written by the winners, in this case the Tudors, can be proved to be chiefly fiction.
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This is an excellent book. Very well researched and Ms Carson's theories certainly give plenty of food for thought. A must have for any Ricardian's bookshelf.

My one gripe is with the paperback version of this book. The font is tiny and I find it really quite difficult to read. Make sure you have a decent pair of glasses if you buy this version.
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Format: Paperback
I have been fascinated by Richard III for more than 40 years, and avidly read everything about him I can find, whether favourable or unfavourable. I found this book brilliant, and definitely one of the best books I have ever read about Richard.
The author deals with the events of Richard's reign using just contemporary chronicles, and her unusual hypothesis that Edward IV might have poisoned definitely made me look at this event in a different light.

It seems that political propaganda was as much alive in fifteenth century England as it is today - and she illustrated so many instances where post-Richard chroniclers deliberately mis-translated the original information so as to provide a completely opposite view. I have always thought that the portrait of Richard painted by More and Shakespeare is so obviously over the top, it is obviously only intended to be a drama, and not actual fact.

I also find it interesting that Richard has been vilified - without any actual proof - regarding the supposed death of Edward IV's sons, and yet the systematic removal of any Yorkist heirs by Henry VII and his son Henry VIII hardly seems to rate a mention in subsequent books written about this period.

The book really puts Richard into the context of the times in which he lived, and is careful not make a judgement on any of the facts, but merely to set them out for the reader to make their up their own mind. I certainly learned some new information about Richard, which was most interesting. It is clear that Richard's only Parliament certainly brought in some excellent laws to improve the lot of his people, which are still around today - something which probably did not go down too well with his nobles.
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This is a really good read, but it might be a good idea to have a notepad a pencil handy. Ms Carson throws so many facts at you that it is impossible to remember half of them, yet every one of them virtually proves the innocence of the last Plantagenet king of England. Most of what you have heard about him is untrue, no thanks to Shakespeare, and even if you had doubts before about Richard 111's guilt they are about to be confirmed a thousand times over. If you want to know why those Tudors should never have come to the throne, read this!
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