Richard III, The Young King to Be: v. 1 Hardcover – 1 Nov 2008
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About the Author
Josephine Wilkinson is an author and historian. She received a First from the University of Newcastle where she also read for her PhD. She has received British Academy research funding and has been scholar-in-residence at St Deiniol's Library, Britain's only residential library founded by the great Victorian statesman, William Gladstone She now lives in York, Richard III's favourite city. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The latter years of the reign of King Henry VI and the protectorship of Richard's father must have been traumatic and frightening for a young boy, especially the barbarous treatment eventually suffered by his father and older brother Edmund and the flight from Ludlow to escape the Lancastrian threat. What happens to us in our childhood must have an effect on the adult we become, and Richard's childhood must have been pretty scary.
The book has a nice balance between the good part of Richard's character, but does not hesitate to point out his faults, especially in his desire to obtain lands belonging to others sometimes whatever the cost. It also shows him as a religious man, despite that fact that he fathered illegitimate children, and he was certainly a brave soldier and able administrator. He does not seem to me to be different from any other powerful mediaeval lord, and we must view his actions not by the standards of today, but by the standards of 15th century England. He is certainly no worse and in my opinion much better than the Tudors, who systematically disposed of every possible Yorkist contender for the throne, even to the appalling treatment on the scaffold of the Countess of Salisbury (who was a very old woman) by Henry VIII!Read more ›
I liked the way the author explained symbolism and I especially liked the way the book began with a brief look at Richard's astrology. I would have liked a more in depth look at his birth chart as I have been studying it myself. There are a couple of things I felt rather spoiled the book, they are only minor ones. The first is that the type settng and proof reading were not good and there are many words omitted or the wrong word appears - e.g. certainly for certaintity, things like that which are niggling. Also and more important, the author includes a lot of long quotations from early chronicles and I feel the spelling should have been modernised. I am fairly familiar with middle English so it was not an obstacle for me but it would be a problem for readers who were not used to old spelling. Apart from that I feel the spirit of the times has been well captured and I can't think of any other book which has considered all the events from the perspective of Richard and treated him like a person and not a monster or saint as often happens. I sincerely hope she will finish the story very soon.
It was quite pro Richard, presenting an overall sympathetic view of him. While this is quite a refreshing change to the usual "Richard was an evil villain" mantra, it did make me think that the book is a little biased.
Some of the imagery used was quite romanticised- Richard, trotting back to Middleham after a hard days training, in his armour and looking forwards to a nice hot bath etc. And it being a shame he could not wear his fashionable pointy shoes- as Edward IV had banned them (which in itself could be seen to be a good thing).
After a while, I got to quite like the imagery the author conjours up. After all, despite all the "wicked uncle" portrayal, he would have had feelings, thoughts and desires just like anyone else. Previous books I have read on Richard III just concentrate on cold, hard facts, this book had a lot of facts, but sought to present Richard in a more human light.
Although the author presumes what Richard may have felt- it is a change to think of Richard III doing normal things, rather than just his usual one dimensional plotting and planning.
I also really liked the level of detail. There are chapters on Richard's dealing with the Countess of Oxford and her lands, and the Countess of Warwick. The author has really researched this and there is a lot of detail.
I also agree with another review on here, that the last chapter- the study on the literature of hate, was a bit out of place. Though interesting, it would be better at the end of the whole Richard III story.
All in all, I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading volume 2.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this book at the Bosworth Battlefield Visitor Centre on a trip there this September, and very enjoyable it was too, even if it wasn't the actual place that battle... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Ms. E. Arkady
Not the book it should have been. Too much is the writers assumptions , especially what Richard might have thought :.It therefore read more like ahistorical novel in places. Read morePublished 21 months ago by corndolly
However richer in citations than her mentor's selfreferenced books, Wilkinson simply walks in Hicks' footsteps in the many negative, and already manyfold debunked, allegations on... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Isabella
A good read, keeps things personal and draws the reader into Richard's life from a very young child and gives him a real human face.Published on 10 Jan. 2014 by Heather Stackelberg
With all the best will in the world a book that teaches history should be PROOF READ properly. So many annoying inaccuracies and typos, denegrates the research and hard work put in... Read morePublished on 16 Dec. 2013 by Chicklit reader
There are not many books based on Richards younger day .I found it thrilling and made me more certain that he was not the villain the Tudors made him out... Read morePublished on 23 Sept. 2013 by margaret fenton
Good book about Richard lll but also about Ann Neville, all in all a very good read really enjoyed it.Published on 9 Aug. 2013 by patrick1