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Customer Review

51 of 59 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a very biased telling of the tale, 3 Feb. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Princes In The Tower (Paperback)
This was the first book I read on the subject of the princes and I picked Alison Weir's book because I had read her retelling of the Wars of the Roses and found it to be very clear and ejoyable. Indeed I found this book to be the same. However when I started to read around the subject I realised just how impartial she was not. She clearly loathed Richard III from the start. She had her theory ie as guilty as hell and she was going to interpret every single fact in that light.
She sees the devil in every single one of Richard's acts. Most critics allow Richard to be a good ruler even if they find him guilty of the murder of his nephews. Not miss Weir. I do not wish to discourage anyone from reading this book but please do not let her be the only author you read on this subject. Bertram Fields provides a good analysis of this book and would be an excellent choice for reading straight after.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Dec 2013, 20:37:09 GMT
Actually, it would seem that both Richard III and his arch enemy Henry Tudor both had an interest in murdering the princes which is very ironic because they were fierce rivals for the English throne. However, these boys were confirmed illegitimate by act of Parliament and therefore what is the point of murdering them? Henry Tudor had revoked the illegitimate Act so that by marrying the boys' sister, Elizabeth of York it would legitimise his own claim to the throne. That would have made the princes also legitimate so to have them removed before his victory at Bosworth would have been very convenient for him indeed. Supposing Richard is guilty beyond doubt, Henry Tudor would have been happy to have his enemy to do his dirty work for him. In fact one of Richard's wards, namely the deceased Duke of Clarence's son, Prince Edward, Earl of Warwick, who was legitimate, had a good claim to the throne than the now 'illegitimate' cousins in the Tower so the assumption of the 'official' story that King Richard was 'obviously guilty' doesn't really add up. Why kill Edward IV's sons, despite their so-called illegitimacy but not their legitimate cousin Edward, Earl of Warwick who was later incarcerated in the Tower by Henry Tudor when he was King? He later had him executed when a young man in his early 20s then, because 'he plotted with Perkin Walbeck' a pretender who said he was Richard Duke of York who was one of the princes in the Tower. But it is alleged that Spanish King and Queen requested the execution to ensure the current English monarchy was secure so that their daughter Infanta Catherine of Aragon would marry King Henry's son, Arthur, then the Princes of Wales. - he died later paving the way for Prince Harry (future Henry VIII) as Henry VII's heir. Catherine of Aragon's parents were determined that she should be Queen of England, not a mere wife of an exile. Although I don't consider Richard Duke of Gloucester a saint, a lot of what has been said concerning all three princes, the royal brothers who were declared illegitimate and their royal cousin, Edward, Earl of Warwick who was supposedly legitimate doesn't make sense to me and is flawed. The young Earl Warwick seems to be forgotten by those who assume King Richard is guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. And in fact, before Richard III was killed at Bosworth, he had chosen his surviving nephew, Edward, Earl of Warwick to be his heir as long as he had no children of his own. I gather the book Richard III and the Murder in the Tower concentrates on the execution without trial of Lord Hastings and the reason behind it, not who killed the princes and why. I haven't read the book yet but I am interested to know more why King Richard had Lord Hastings executed who, like himself, had always been loyal to Richard's late brother Edward IV.

Posted on 18 Jan 2016, 17:35:35 GMT
Banditqueen says:
The analysis in your comment is excellent, but may I recommend both Peter Hancock..The Murder in the Tower, which is dedicated to an excellent analysis of the debates and sources involved in the execution of William Lord Hastings, and the academic work by Annette Carson of Richard lll's role and authority as Lord Protector and High Constable of England. The latter includes an interesting assessment of his authority to execute Hastings under the law of treason as it relates to his position at the time, as well as the role of the Court of the High Constable, under which Hastings some historians argue he was condemned.
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