2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Very Interesting, but Difficult to Classify,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Richard III: The Road to Leicester (Paperback)
Amy Licence is rapidly becoming one of my favorite historians. Her writing is well organized, extremely readable and offers fresh insights into the subject she’s examining. I also appreciate that she distinguishes between historical fact and speculation. I first discovered essays she’d written that were posted on the Internet. Later I read her biography of Anne Neville and was fascinated by her examination of the life and times of that medieval queen so when I discovered Richard III The Road to Leicester on Amazon, I knew I wanted to read it.
Licence chooses to begin with a fictional account of Richard’s burial and I’ll include a quote to demonstrate why I admire her writing:
Two days later he was carried into the Church of the Grey Friars convent. The heavy stones in the choir had been hurriedly lifted and stacked to one side, to reveal a little space into which they would put their lord. There may have been prayers but there was little other ceremony; he was not given a shroud or a coffin. His hands not untied. When they lifted him down, placing him on the earth, his head hung forward, jaw open. There was no time now to extend the pit, he would be buried hunched, almost sitting up in expectation. Then the slabs were replaced over his head and Richard III was consigned to history.
This book is difficult to classify. It is too short to be a true biography but too long to be an essay. Certainly for a reader who knows very little about Richard III, this would be an excellent introduction. Even though I have read a fair amount on the subject, I still found this very interesting and gained some new insights. I particularly enjoyed Chapter 7 Aftermath: 1485-2012 and the final chapter, which examines the controversy surrounding Richard’s reburial. The book is lavishly illustrated, which is another plus. I can strongly recommend Richard III The Road to Leicester and I’m looking forward to Licence’s biography of Cecily Neville, the mother of Edward IV and Richard III.