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Cold Case Reheated
on 22 December 2013
Firstly I have to admire any non historian brave enough to put any thoughts on The Great Debate out in print! Overall the book is well written and straight forward, timelines of events are set out clearly. I don't know if the book was curtailed for any reason, but I suppose the problem is that there is so much you 'could' say on the subject and often I found myself saying "yes, but...!" But, to be fair overall, I did seriously consider Garber's views and that surely can't be a bad thing.
There seem to be a few oddities going on - a few dates that didn't look right and Robert Brackenbury written variously as Roger Blackenbury! A think a key piece that was missing was the marriage negotiations with Portugal for both Richard III and Elizabeth of York - this surely sheds a different light on some of Garber's conclusions? I suppose my main quibble is that I by no means share the authors degree of probability that the bones in Westminster Abbey are those of the two princes - for starters, we don't know if these are the same bones referred to in the written account of the discovery of bones, they are actually where Thomas More said they were NOT (even if you can take any of More's supposed work on trust) and we don't know if they are the right period (there's no actual evidence for the supposed pieces of velvet) or even if they are male or female! Further analysis of these remains would answer at least some of these questions, so it puzzles me why the authorities won't allow it - it's not precisely disturbing a royal tomb, is it?
Overall, this isn't a bad book, but I do think that Annette Carson's 'Small Guide to the Great Debate' probably covers the same sort of ground rather better.