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on 21 May 2014
I have always wanted to read a book about George. This book tells us about his childhood and why, perhaps he behaved as he did in adulthood. Throughout the many books about this period, George is always seen as the tall, golden haired, handsome, favourite son of his mother. This book says he was below average height, probably smaller that Richard and dark haired - confusing. As with most books that are not fictional, everything is maybe George did this or that, because... Or maybe George was here or there. Truthfully we just don't know. It is a shame though that other coffins were put into the Clarence Vault and that George's and Isabel's bones are in a glass case now - well maybe. George's bone will, I am sure will undergo mitrachondrial DNA testing at some point.
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on 12 June 2017
An interesting read about a pretty well-known duke and key player in the wars of the roses. One who has not been researched a lot.
HOWEVER....I would be very careful with accepting all this as absolutely true. In terms of academic reliability I would even go as far as to describe it "poor"
The book is full of assumptions as becomes very clear in the written style and the frequent use of phrases like: would have been, could have been, may have been.... On top of that Mr Ashdown-Hill accepts his own theories from previous researches, such as Edward IV being legally married to Eleanor Butler and the Tudors descending from the duke of Beaufort, as proven facts. He may well be right but as far as I am aware these theories have yet to be supported by other scholars...
So yes, interesting but I am not convinced about its academic value.
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on 25 August 2014
very interesting, a good read ,some new information
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on 14 April 2014
John Ashdown-Hill is rapidly becoming one of my favourite historians of the late medieval period. I loved his book on the last months of Richard III and this very attractive history is as before meticulous in its research and yet remains very readable. I like the short chapters, broken down s that in a busy lifestyle you can quickly pick it up and read a chapter. He takes you through the complex politics of the period explaining the different players and not presuming knowledge. I do know a lot about this period, but there was plenty there to hold me and I feel for the general reader there equally would be a lot of interest. The illustrations help and add to the pages and the story of Clarence itself is a fascinating one. I didn't know, for example, about all the 'behind the scenes' contact between Edward IV and Clarence during the 1470 'difficulties.' The whole tale of Clarence is an essential guide as well to understanding the politics of the accession of Richard III, many of the stories on Edward IV and his marital escapades had been in circulation much earlier than when Richard raised them.
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on 24 September 2014
Truly awful,see my review via Hicks "False,Fleeting,Perjur'd Clarence.Why cant I give no stars?
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on 20 May 2014
I was looking forward to reading this as George is one of my ancestors. The book is very badly written and badly researched with numerous mistakes. I was flabbergasted by the pages taken up at the end of the book with the rather snobby interviews with a few of George's descendants. I would calculate that his descendants run into the hundreds of thousands at least. What a waste of space!
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on 21 May 2014
Having had an interest in the Wars of the Roses for 30 years, and a history degree where they taught us the importance of evidence, I was intrigued to read this.
However, I am so annoyed by all the statements of 'fact' and cod-psychology in this book, and worry that people will read this and believe it all. So far it has been stated that Beaufort was the father of Edmund and Jasper Tudor as he was in a relationship with Katherine de Valois. And then he went on to father Edward of Westminster after an affair with Henry VI's wife. The Talbot/ Edward IV marriage is also presented as a fact.
The writer has suggested that Clarence's behaviour was due to his small stature and Richard's scholiosis was caused by an injury at sea. And George was psychologically damaged by not having a positive male role model in his life!
I nearly bought a hard back copy of this. Thank goodness I only paid a very reduced Kindle price. This just feels like an attempt to cash in on the Richard III story rather than a genuine analysis of the facts. I also found his writing style quite patronising, but perhaps I am the wrong audience for this book, having some knowledge of the times and people.
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on 18 July 2014
Another excellent book from John Ashdown - Hill. Very well written as expected from this ( quite rightly ) highly respected author, and quoting his sources, which are very important I think. George, Duke of Clarence, was clearly a flawed character but this book does give an insight as to why he may have behaved the way he did. It is a great shame that Mr Ashdown - Hill seems to have been very much side - lined since the confirmation that the " king in the car park " WAS Richard III, as indeed does the whole " Looking For Richard " team who instigated the whole dig, provided most of the finance and certainly ALL of the interest and determination in locating Richard !!!. Leicester Uni ,council and associated " partners " seem to have decided that the truly momentous discovery of the remains of Richard III was entirely due to THEM and their efforts.
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on 26 October 2014
Yet another fascinating book from John Ashdown Hill. He works from scratch and ignores the non-substantiated traditional accounts and thus comes up with his usual fresh approach. The reasons that Clarence changed against his brother and back again are clearly put. There is the suggestion, clearly explained, that Clarence may have been smaller than his brother Richard. I note criticism from others that there are too many mights and maybes but a possibly from the man who told Time Team the exact site of Richard IIIs grave in 2005 is worth a lot of other people's probablies. I can't wait for his next book, the Dublin King. If there is anyone who can solve the mysteries of the pretenders, it is John Ashdown Hill.
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on 13 May 2014
Lots of "May be assumed that..." and "could be..." In this book. Little evidence to back them up. For instance - suggesting that Richard's back / shoulder deformity came from an accident at sea when he was a small boy. The evidence for this is where?

Not easy to read in this format because of the overuse of footnotes and not a terribly engaging style.
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