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This was an all right book. It puts a nice spin on what probably happened to those boys. I would definitely have anyone who is interested in the Tudor dynasty read this book, as it gives you more information than other books do. I give it a 4 out of 5.
Apr 6, 2007
Great history, inconsistent advocacy...
Having read this author's the Wars of the Roses I was prompted to read another book and chose the Princes in the Tower. The former book is quite well written, base upon well researched, and evaluated source material. This too is the case for the best part of the Princes in the Tower, the subject of this review. Alison Weir clearly has a great knowledge of this period and informs the reader of which sources are most valid, and most likely to be of greatest value in veracity. However, the author gets into a bit of trouble of her own making when she leaves the statement of the facts as reported by the sources and begins to advocate a particular position, in this case that Richard III ordered the murder of young Edward V and his even younger brother, the Duke of York. Inconsistency is the major issue taken with this advocacy. On one hand she makes the case that Richard was responsible because it was widely rumored among the courts of Europe that indeed he was guilty. On the other, when those same rumors were bruited about Henry VII, she claims that this was mere propaganda (more about which below) to discomfit this latter monarch. She makes the case that people lived in fear of Richard III, that it was the case during this period that people irritated any prince under pain of death. Once again, however, we are lead to believe that the veracity of those writing during the nascent Tudor era were no longer subject to this inhibition. Finally, the author makes the totally outrageous claim that the most effective propaganda is that which is based upon fact (here again, it is based on fact when applied to Richard, mere malicious rumor when applied to Henry). I think that a student of any of the 20th Century dictators would find that contention misinformed at best, naive at worst.
Publishers Weekly, 1995-07-24 Weir examines the 1483 disappearance of Richard III's two young nephews and determines that he was to blame for their murders. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1993-11-29 In this carefully researched and absorbing work of scholarship, Weir ( The Six Wives of Henry VIII ) investigates the events surrounding the disappearance in 1483 of England's 12-year-old King Edward V and his younger brother, Richard, Duke of York. Upon the death of their father, King Edward IV, in 1483, the brothers' uncle, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was named Edward V's guardian. In a breathtaking chain of sinister events, Richard had Edward V and his brother confined to the Tower of London, declared his nephew's accession to the throne invalid and proclaimed himself king in June of 1483. Weir relies heavily on Sir Thomas More's History of King Richard III (written 1514-1518 and upon which William Shakespeare based his play) to conclude that Richard had his nephews murdered in the tower sometime after his coronation. Weir carefully considers alternative theories about the brothers' deaths, but argues convincingly that More had the best access to evidence and the least reason to lie. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)
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