- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Richard: No. III (The Yale English Monarchs Series) Paperback – 1 Jun 1999
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"A fascinating study on a perennially fascinating topic...the base against which will be measured any future research." - Times Higher Education Supplement Times Higher Education Supplement
About the Author
Charles Ross was Professor of Medieval History at the University of Bristol until his death in 1986. His previous books include the biography Edward IV in the English Monarchs series.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
The book is masterly, in the traditional academic way. There is a panoply of footnotes; and this will put some people off. My advice is to read it.
It has made me change my mind about Richard. I used to think he was a tyrant, rightly condemned as such in his day, and by historians as eminent as Maurice Keen; and Ross shows very well how the idea that it was Tudor historians and Shakespeare who first condemned him is a myth. But, to my mind, he also shows how 'the answer lies in the soil' or land, which was the basis of all power in late medieval England. So, Edward III conferred vast estates on Richard, especially during the years 1471-83, making Richard the most powerful man in the land, and above all in the North of England; and he also appointed him Protector of his eldest son, the ill-fated Edward V. Richard's position was put in jeopardy, however, by virtue of the fact that Edward also favoured his wife, Elizabeth Woodville, and her family, the Rivers. We cannot be sure, but it is plausible to see Richard's seizure, first of power, and then of the throne, in 1483, as a pre-emptive strike, because he feared that the Rivers family would try to 'rub him out' first. Once he had been crowned King, there was a backlash from the Southern gentry, in the revolt known as Buckingham's Rebellion. These men were not Lancastrians, but Yorkists loyal to Edward V. Richard was able to put the revolt down, but then relied overmuch on Northern gentlemen within his affinity to rule the Southern counties, where they were greatly resented. Finally, as we all know, one of the most powerful Northerners, Stanley, deserted him on the battlefield at Bosworth.
On this view, it all comes down to land, not character. It is not necessary to see Richard as uniquely evil or tyrannical. He was behaving pretty much as we would expect a medieval landowner, with connections at the highest level of government, to behave. So is it 'tout comprendre est tout pardonner?' Not quite; but more or less.
This brief resume does not do justice to the book, or the quality of Ross's research. He shows how a patient prosopographical approach, rathe than the blind faith which inspires so many writers about Richard III, pays large dividends.
Ross wrote the book in the 1980s; and this edition dates from 1999. In an Introduction Ralph Griffiths shows that there was not much that was new which came to light in between those dates; and he also gives a fascinating history and appraisal of the Richard III Society and its contribution to Ricardian studies. Has anything happened since 1999, which would make us change our mind about Ross's views? Well, the view [p 139] that there was no reliable evidence that Richard was hunchbacked' clearly need to be modified in the light of the discovery of his deformed skeleton in 2012; and likewise the view [see map at p 219] that the battle of Bosworth was fought around Ambien Hill almost certainly needs to be changed in the light of recent battlefield archaeology [see Bosworth 1485, Glenn Foard & Anne Curry, Oxbow Books 2013); but in the main, Ross stands up very well; and deserves to be regarded as the most readable and reliable account of the King's life that we have.
Also of note is his accurate and enthralling telling of the Anglo-Scots war during the final years of Edward's reign. Richard is portrayed not as the blackened, child-murdering opportunist of Tudor fable, but as a brave and courageous warrior, a loyal and hard-working servant to his brother, and a capable administrator.
Most gripping, of course, are Ross' account of the years of Richard's personal rule, from the death of his brother in April, 1483, through the short but eventful nominal reign of his nephew, Edward V, and Richard's eventual betrayal and death at the hands of Henry Tudor at Bosworth Field.
Ross' writing is both thorough and fluid, combining all the facts available with just enough narrative to bring the characters to life, without slipping into the role of a storyteller.
Finally, I also heartily recommend Ross' biography of Edward IV, a far more in-depth (Richard ruled only two years, Edward over twenty) and conclusive portrayal of one of England's greatest medieval kings.
Ross is a good writer, and this book was a pleasure to read, especially as he has no particular axe to grind. I was upset to discover that he was himself murdered at 62.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Biography > British Royalty
- Books > Biography > Historical > Britain > Military
- Books > Biography > Historical > Countries & Regions > Europe
- Books > Biography > Historical > Royalty
- Books > Biography > Political > Britain
- Books > History > Europe > Great Britain > England
- Books > History > Europe > Great Britain > The Plantaganets & Medieval England
- Books > History > Europe > Medieval
- Books > History > Military History > Military Life & Institutions