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Richard III (The English Monarchs)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  115 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Examines how Richard came to power in fifteenth-century Britain and attempts to reconcile his ruthless political actions with his beneficent rule.
Unknown Binding, 25 pages
Published January 1st 1982 by University of California Press (first published January 1st 1981)
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Having read a fair amount of historical fiction about Richard III and his contemporaries, I recently began looking into some nonfiction sources to attempt to discover who Richard really was. Charles Ross promises a neutral look at historical sources in order to determine if Richard was the deformed villian of Shakespeare or the loyal but misunderstood hero put forth by Penman. I can summarize the results in three words: we don't know. Ross seems to lean more toward villain while calling it somet ...more

It's hard to analyze this as a biography, because that's not really what it is. (That said, I am a little confused as to why it isn't.)

Mr. Ross should get a lot of credit for consistently and determinedly examining Richard Plantagenet, as he says, "the most persistently vilified of all English kings," in the context of his own time. For those who don't already know, the medieval period and the Wars of the Roses in particular were brutal, bloody, and perhaps could be said to have verged on
In honor of Richard III's remains being located, I overcame my disinclination toward reading biographies of monarchs and looked for an objective study on the fella. After more digging for said objectivity than you would believe possible, I landed on Ross's book, not a straightforward A-Z biography but an unconventional thematic study of Richard's life and short reign, and the late medieval period in which he lived and died.

Ross thoroughly covers the sources, available scholarship and popular vi
Edmund Marlowe
Masterfully balanced

Richard III is easily the most controversial English king, traditionally vilified, but emotionally defended by many writers who argue he was not a usurper and did not murder his deposed 12-year-old nephew or anyone else. These invariably amateur historians and novelists have ironically mushroomed in number since two discoveries in the 1930s laid to rest reasonable historically-informed argument that his nephews did not die in his care. Nevertheless, some of the doubts they ra
Andrea Willers
I got this book as a Christmas present a couple of years ago and I still have not the heart to finish that book. I was well aware that it was going to be those books which was going to be very hard to understand. It had a long and lengthy intro with names from the Richard III society putting in their two penny's worth. The book has no direction and flits about from one subject to another and is not written in a clear and decisive way. It was like someone having a conversation about the sources a ...more
An analysis of the life, politics and reign of usurper king Richard III (1452 – 1485) of England.

This book by Professor of Medieval History Charles Ross is one of the most respected works among the many written about the controversial king. Where most historians tend to be either deeply hostile or fiercely protective of Richard, Ross takes a more neutral stance, which is of course the correct approach when dealing with a subject where frustratingly few solid pieces are there to fit into the jigs
Gerry Germond
Ditto the well-written reviews below. The author is conducting an examination and not a chronicling of our boy's life. What I derived from my reading is that Richard III could be a capable enough ruler but he was also quite relentless in his acquiring of and holding onto power, as was many another medieval king (and Roman Emperor and Soviet General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party).

Spoiler: Ross' take on the disappearance of the princes in the Tower is on page 103.

The b
Brittany Petruzzi
And excellent work of history. I intended to finish this before performing in Shakespeare's famous play, but here I am just finishing it weeks later. Oh well. A little dull at times, but I think that's more my fault than the author's, especially since I'm not as familiar with English history as a whole as maybe I should be.
Mark Singer
Excellent and thorough academic biography of one of the most controversial figures in English history. Ross does a good job at untangling and explaining what is known about Richard III's life and twenty six month reign as king.

Terra Palewicz

Ross did an excellent job portraying Richard in a more neutral sense. I enjoyed reading the book, and his take on Richard is very helpful.
Claire-louise Tuthill
Great in-depth account of Richard III's reign. By far the most useful book written about Richard III.
An incredibly useful book! i had to write a paper on Richard III and this was the best source possible.
Carol Rondou
Traditional view of Richard. Very well researched and written. Part of the Yale Monarch series.
Taylor Kniphfer
Best book I've read on Richard III
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The English Monarchs (1 - 10 of 28 books)
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