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on 21 May 2014
This was a interesting book. If, like me, you have been a faithful Richardian for decades, this book does fill in some 'blanks'. I still can't work out how Richard could have lost Bosworth, even with the traitorous Stanleys and Northumberland. He had a far superior force. But, as we all know, he did lose. I was enlightened to learn that Henry VII actually did set up a monument for Richard - but thank goodness he didn't have his bones put into the tomb. No matter how many times I have to read the way Richard's body was treated post mortem, and it was nothing out of the ordinary - I still can not fathom how Henry could have treated a King's body this way, but then I am writing in the 21st century and not the 15th!!! I loved the DNA facts, although I had to read them several times, because it did get a bit confusing to a mere, ordinary person.
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on 1 October 2017
Excellent and very interesting information about research for Richard 3rd's DNA but the historical information seemed biased in favour of Richard, even to me as a Yorkshire lass.
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on 25 July 2017
nice book good price quick delivery
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on 13 September 2013
A sympathetic and interesting view of the final days of RIII, but if the bones had not been found I am not sure that I would have been moved to investigate for them. The DNA link seems to me to be rather speculative in terms of tracing a family over 500 years and across the world. Good background to the fascinating ongoing story of the bones and reburial plans.
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on 14 June 2017
excellent and different from other historical biographies
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VINE VOICEon 8 March 2013
I have always been interested in Richard III and for others like myself there is nothing particularly new in the historical section of this book. However if you are coming to Richard afresh following the excitement of the discovery of the bones in the car park you will find the description of the last days of Richard's reign a good introduction to this much maligned King. What is really fascinating however, and makes the book a 'must read', is the description of how the author traced each woman who passed on the DNA from Richard's sister through the centuries right up to the present. Probably the most breath taking thing is that because DNA is passed through the female line [which has died out with this generation]is that this was the very last chance to find a living person with Richard's DNA. The time was right for the bones to be found!fjs
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VINE VOICEon 13 May 2013
This book describes the last days of the reign of Richard 111 and goes on from his defeat at Bosworth to the treatment and final disposition of his body. It moves on to trace Richards family tree from Anne of York to the present day.It is a book that is rich in detail and contains most of the well known facts and many little known facts that surround Richard.Some assumptions are made but these are wll supported by clear reasoning. What John Ashdown Hill describes as later mythology is summarily dealt with. Richard is described as a wise and good monarch and there is no doubt that the author favours him but he does try to be fair to Henry too. The preparation and execution of Bosworth is told in such detail that it is breathtaking even although we know the end result. The book is certainly suitable for the academics amongst us, but the excellent writing style makes it very readable for anyone who has an interest in, or wants to know more about Richard. It is an excellent book and I commend John Ashdowne Hill on his extensive research.
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on 15 August 2010
I confess an interest in Richard III and have read fairly extensively around the fifteenth century so I approached this fairly short book not expecting to find much new within. I have to say however the narrative style was very clear and the whole concept of taking the king through his last months and beyond into the whole debate of where his body is and who exists today as distant relatives provided a new angle on a much written about king. The illustrations are refreshingly different from the usual and the book is attractive overall. I thought there was little more to say on his short period as monarch, it just shows how you can be wrong! The book is well suited for the lover of medieval history or those who have read on Richard III previously. Very enjoyable.
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on 31 July 2010
John Ashdown-Hill has done it again to follow up his excellent and intriguing book, Eleanor the secret Queen. This time he does what all good historians should do - take you to the appropriate moment and examine the subject, having tried to forget the future. Following the example of Micheal Jones, who tries to portray Richard as a proactive king rather than the reactive monarch of Shakespeare, Ashdown Hill's Richard becomes quite different. His day to day rituals and acts of routine piety are related in detail and the fact that Richard went hunting a few days before Bosworth; not the action of a nervous underconfident King. As a Dr I was very much persuaded by his conjecture that Richard may have been ill before Bosworth, accounting for his possible nightmares. We all have apprehensions before a big day but Richard's possible dreams sound much more like a pyrexia than just nerves. Did he suffer from the contemporary sweating sickness? Was he ill on the morning of Bosworth and was he overkeen to get the thing over with? Ashdown-Hill is also much kinder to Henry; Henry's treatment of Richard was in fact straightforward and proper (being killed in battle was after all unique for a post Norman King!)Richard's body was slung over the back of a horse; how else would you do it? Henry did not pre-date his reign from 21st August. He then goes on a hunt for Richard's mitochondial DNA following this with the possibility that Richard's remains could still exist. If so Richard could be identified positively and so many answers, his height, his deformity or lack of it, his mode of death could be established. Ashdown-Hill's scholarship combined with a vision of revelation make this another tasty meal for those who wish to set the Historical record of Richard III straight.
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on 4 July 2010
This book was interesting for filling in some gaps about Richard's activities before his death, but most interesting of all was the discussion of the current state of play re DNA research into these last Plantagenets and their modern descendants. I did not think I would have found this section as interesting as it was. The discussion of the fate of Richard's tomb was illuminating and his theory that Henry Tudor built something more up-market in response to the Warbeck threat is an interesting one. Despite this I confess that, like strawberries, it left an unsatisfied feeling behind, something there should have been (like cream), but wasn't, and I can't put my finger on what it is! Nevertheless, essential reading for any Ricardian, and certainly not the sort of book which the anti-Richards can scream bias about!
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