Royal Blood: King Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes
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Royal Blood: King Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  415 ratings  ·  35 reviews
With his hunched back and withered arm, Richard scuttles across the stage like a huge spider, spewing out his venomous thoughts. "Since I cannot prove a lover," he confides to the hushed audience, "I am determined to prove a villain." And he means it. As the drama unfolds this grotesque villain kills the youthful Prince of Wales and the aged, saintly Henry VI. Then, he sch...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 23rd 1998 by Regan
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Community Reviews

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If the Princes in the Tower were Hollywood actors, their disappearance would be a scandal for the ages. Who am I kidding? Their death at the hands of their uncle Richard III (supposedly) is a scandal and is my favorite real-life mystery. Bertram Fields, an entertainment lawyer, breaks down the case using court/trial analysis in “Royal Blood”.

“Royal Blood” is a very unique piece, combining a traditional history portrait with a modern-day courtroom breakdown. Fit for both new-comers to the topic (...more
This book was impossible to put down! Fields does an excellent job of analyzing the difficult questions relating to Richard III and the princes in the tower. He expertly separates the issues of Richard's motivations for taking the throne, whether or not the princes were really killed, and if they were who did it. He quotes several sources and discusses their reliability and views the potential truths with a lawyer's eye. His research includes contemporary sources, current writers, and everyone i...more
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May 11, 2009 Misfit rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Ricardians
A very interesting concept, an attorney preparing a defense of Richard III and seeing the mystery of "who done them in" from his point of view. Fields takes the reader through the history of the Wars of the Roses, Edward IV, Richard III and those hated Woodvilles as he analyses the pros and cons of the histories written by the contemporaries, along with those during the reign of Henry VII.

There's enough detail on the book from other reviewers that I needn't rehash it again. I found Field's argu...more

Royal Blood is informative, engaging, but also rather frustrating. It reads like a thoroughly researched term paper by someone well-versed in the subject matter, but in a hurry and unwilling to alter his already-decided thesis.

If you want to know the story of the end of the Plantagenet line, all the facts may be here. But I'm not quite sure, because there aren't the usual footnotes and references that should be in a nonfiction history, and I find that pretty unforgivable. I want to be able to

_Royal Blood_ is a helpful, comprehensive, and at points even entertaining overview of the evidence for and against Richard III. While Fields clearly leans more towards the revisionist view (supporting Richard's innocence) he manages to lean without falling over, and seems more even-handed and open-minded than most authors writing on the topic. While I generally enjoyed and benefited from reading his book, however, I have several serious complaints:
1. While Fields notes the names of his sources...more
Good idea, but the author was too busy ragging on others' ideas about the "mystery" to give good evidence for his theory
Aug 12, 2008 Jenn rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ricardians, Yorkists, and people interested in the Mystery of the Princes
Shelves: medieval-england
That footnotes do matter and I'd like to see more references.
A thorough rendition of the many factors, events, and behaviors in an extremely turbulent period of English history, Bertram Fields lays out his analysis of one of the most enduring mysteries: the fate of the 'Princes of the Tower', the child king Edward V and his brother, Richard, Duke of York.

Fields' analysis of the situation is thorough in its attempt to determine the guilt of Richard III in the deaths of his nephews. Indeed, by looking closely at many of the established 'facts', Fields actu...more
Donna Maguire
I started to read this book as I am currently going through a Richard III phase and reading quite a few books that cover his short reign.
I was sceptical when I started to read this, being written by someone who, according to the books jacket is ‘widely regarded as the most prominent entertainment lawyer in the US’, but I am interested in hearing other people’s views on what has happened and if could really answer the mystery of the Princes in the Tower as it claimed, I was all for it as no-one e...more
This book should really be read after Weir's "The Princes in the Tower." In this work, Fields works to shed new light on the disappearance of the sons of Edward IV. Interestingly enough, Fields uses his particular background, that of law to pursue his thesis.

Fields' work is refreshing in that, while he advocates for Richard, he is never completely convinced that Richard may not be guilty. In other words, this might be the most straightforward account of the mystery and the possible suspects. It...more
I found this to be a very good take on the who-killed-the-royal-princes question that still remains unsolved centuries later. As an attorney, Fields approaches the question with a clearer eye than most, laying down the motives for each proposed murderer. Like many, I feel that Richard III received a raw deal, but history's winners dictate the final version. However, the author provided me with full research, so that I wouldn't just say it was them darn Tudors.

Read the book and decide for yoursel...more
Pete daPixie
This 500 year mystery, only deepened by later Tudor re-writing of history is very expertly disentangled. The treatment of Richard III by Thomas More, Shakespeare etc.,largely remains the popular view today. Fields cross examines both the Tudor propagandists and modern writers like Weir, to show Richard in a new light. The mystery of the Prince's in the tower remains, but the likelihood of regicide committed by Richard diminishes.
Basically an interesting book; however, far too much detail in sections which also becomes repetitive. Anyone keen on this mystery of the little princes would definitely find this a valuable book though.
MiZzy Miz
So I haven't brought my self a book for a while. Well I have but not a paper one. I love a bit of history and why not one of the most “Strangest moments in history” The disappearance of the princes in the tower. For years this has fascinated people because its one of those “Who did it??”

Was it king Richard the III??? or was it some one completely Different who wanted To put Henry Tudor on the throne??

I have to say books like this fascinate Me. I've been to London tower and badly want to go agai...more
Ugh. Four stars for subject matter, Richard and the princes are fascinating! But two stars for the author being a nitwit.

Had Fields simply made his case without attacking others who have also written about Richard and the princes - mainly Alison Weir - this would have been a much better text. But time and again he takes shots SPECIFICALLY at her, saying her conclusions are illogical, she's wrong, etc. But then he goes on to do the exact same things time and again that he accuses others of doing,...more
Apr 10, 2009 Ikonopeiston rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: serious students of Richard III and the Princes in the Tower controversy
I found this to be an excellent and logical survey of the problem of the disappearance of the sons of Edward IV of England from their residence in the Tower of London. Fields examines all the known facts with a lawyer's eye and assigns each of them the weight he believes it would command in a court of law. What a relief from the sometimes overheated arguments of both Traditionalists and Revisionists. The only reason I have withheld a fifth star is that on frequent occasions the book seems more i...more
Fields' book is a refreshing addition to the subject of the Princes. Most books on this subject veer to the extremes of authors such as Kendall, who assert Richard's total innocence; to Weir, who paints Richard as being an utter fiend and monster who schemed from the beginning to take the throne. Fields effectively demolishes most of Weir's circular and self-serving arguments, yet does not completely absolve Richard of responsibility. Fields is also one of the only authors to place Richard real...more
Rosemary Prawdzik
There were aspects of this book that I found particularly interesting. I took copious notes about the various "historians" of the day that wrote about Richard. And appreciated insight into their various biases. Mr. Field's in-depth analysis of the sequence of events was extremely enlightening. I found myself developing timelines about what occurred when which will be useful upon future readings.

One tidbit from Mr. Field's research has me stumped ... he claims that one of the reasons he doesn't...more
Royal Blood, by author Bertram Fields could have been a great book. Mr.Fields most certainly came in to the court room, having done all his homework. In many ways, I would say that Mr. Fields went beyond the call of duty to give King Richard III as fair a trial, as would be possible. I did admire him for that, because anyone vaugely familiar with the mystery of the Princes in the Tower are concerned, the cards have been stacked against King Richard III all along.

The turn off for me, was the fact...more
Written by an entertainment lawyer, this book provides a new look at an old mystery. Ever since I read The Daughter of Time, I've been interested in the questions surrounding the murder of the princes in the Tower, so when I saw this book in the National Portait Gallery in London, I just had to buy it. While few of the facts mentioned in the book are new, the way Fields treats the case is certainly novel. Although using our current standards of evidence to judge a 500 year old crime may strike s...more
Missy G
The best most diplomatic book I have read so far on this topic, broken down as an attorney would do in regards to Richard the third. Mr. Fields seems objective and articulate and writes in layman's terms so well. I have also read Alison Weirs verson and believe she too is wonderful but obviously not neutral in her opinion. In a perfect world I would have all the time in the world to research more . Thank God for talent
Darkpool (protesting GR censorship)
Fields is an LA entertainment lawyer not really the sort of person one would expect to write a Richard III history! He has approached the book - and the mystery of the princes in the tower - from a lawyerly point of view: looked at the evidence, examined the credibility of the witnesses (contemporary sources), had a bit of a go at the findings of other historians (a la cross examination), etc. He's particularly scathing of Alison Weir one of Richard's most recent (and most condemning) biographer...more
Louis Profeta Profeta
Kevin Spacey played Richard lll at the Brooklyn Academy in a very unusual way, the maddest madman.He sparked my interest to Shakespeare's Tempest and Antony and Cleopatra, the tragedies, I was reciting out load, what fun to hear the language out of me.
Richard lll, was depressed some, his family was becoming small, the king had died and his you son was the heir and Richard was aflamed in want of a crown for his head, he marries his brother's wife, kills his, takes the old king's two young sons an...more
Melissa DeHart
I read this book as part of a study I am doing on the Princes in the Tower. This book a viewpoint that I had never read. I have always believed in Richard III's guilt but Bertram Fields offers other suspects and other theories. He doesn't (like other authors) say that Richard is guilty or innocent but gives you an alternative view. I thoroughly enjoyed this bit of history. I am not convinced in Richard's guilt or innocence but this book did get me thinking.
Dec 30, 2008 Patricia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pat Fitzpatrick, Becky Daroff
Shelves: history
This is a refreshing new look at the whole Princes in the Tower mystery by an American lawyer. Fields did not grow up learning about this in England, with the inherent bias that seems to ensue. He approached the case by researching what facts there are and the characters involved and comes up with a theory that to me anyway is extremely plausible. I'd be very interested to hear other's opinions of this book!
Michele Kallio
An excellent study of the conflicting legends concerning the fate of the Princes in the Tower. Fields uses the skills he has gained in his twenty plus years as a lawyer to evaluate both sides of the question. It is a comprehensive and meticulously researched book sifting through five hundred years of legend. Skillfully argued and reads like a novel.
Ricard III, el malvat oficial de la història d’Anglaterra, era un perfecte cavaller, no va matar els seus nebots i no era geperut ni deforme. Una lectura fascinant.
Millor part: l'anàlisi dels quadres representant Ricard III de l'epoca Tudor demostra que es tracta de modificacions fetes sota el nou règim, pura propaganda política.
Mike Luoma
Enjoyable, attorney's-eye-view of a case that seems, truly, impossible to solve.Old King Richard comes off rather well, if only because Fields does a more than adequate job of showing most of the cases against him to be slander and propaganda.
Thought provoking look at the mystery of the princes in the tower and their Uncle Richards involvement. Written by a lawyer and looked at from a modern judicial perspective. Wonderful what ifs at the end.
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