Richard III: A Ruler and his Reputation

Richard III: A Ruler and his Reputation

by David Horspool


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Famously depicted as 'Crookback Dick', and as Shakespeare's 'bunch-back'd toad', the alleged murderer of the Princes in the Tower and the warrior vanquished at the Battle of Bosworth Field, Richard III is one of England's most enigmatic monarchs. Now, with the discovery of Richard's bones under a car park in Leicester in 2012 and their reburial in early 2015, the obsession with this mysterious king has been further ignited.

Historian David Horspool tells the story of Richard, Duke of Gloucester's birth and upbringing and his part as a young man in the closing years of the Wars of the Roses; describes what really happened to the Princes in the Tower, and explains why this character has become one of the most compelling and divisive rulers in the history of the British Isles. In his final chapter, with a ringside seat to the pomp and circumstance of Richard's reburial in Leicester in 2015, Horspool explains why the public fascination with this flawed king has been so enduring.

Richard III: A Ruler and his Reputation is concerned to examine the legend as well as the man. Have we bought in to the myth of Richard III as the personification of evil, a view maintained by his Tudor successors and publicised by Raphael Holinshed and William Shakespeare? Or should we believe the Ricardian narrative of a much maligned monarch, warrior and statesman made popular by the Richard III Society and conceded in part by some historians and archaeologists? These questions and more are discussed in this fascinating insight into one of England's most elusive kings.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781472946195
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 06/06/2017
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.82(d)

About the Author

David Horspool is History Editor of the Times Literary Supplement. He is the author of The English Rebel (Viking/Penguin), King Alfred the Great (Amberley) and, with Colin Firth and Anthony Arnove, The People Speak (Canongate).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Introduction 1

1 Son of the 'high and mighty Prince' 15

'His wit and reson wt drawen' 24

'Infants, who have not offended against the king' 31

At Fastolf's Place 35

'Into the parties of Flanders' 39

Duke of Gloucester, Squire of Warwick 44

'Little body and feeble strength' 51

2 Exile and Recovery 59

Richard of Wales 65

'My lord of Gloucester travelled to Holland' 74

'Ledyng the vaward of Kyng Edward' 85

3 Warwick's Heir 95

A Bride for a Prince 104

A Bridge on the River Somme 111

Family Business 117

Lord of the North 128

'To fight against James, King of Scotland' 133

4 'To Catch the English Crown' 141

Uncle and Protector 149

Friday the Thirteenth 155

'Ordeigned to Reigne upon the people' 161

5 'Her comyth Richard the third' 171

'The Princes in the Tower' 178

'To shine as a king' 186

'The most untrewe creature lyvyng' 195

6 In one body there are many members' 209

Castle of Care 221

'All Engeland, undyr an hogge' 225

Evil Reports 231

7 'Tant le desieree' 241

8 'My shadow as I pass' 253

'By broken faith' 256

'To secure a reassessment' 262

Richard at Rest 267

Acknowledgements 271

List of Abbreviations 273

Notes 274

Bibliography 302

Index 312

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