Kate Millin's Reviews > The Perfect Prince: The Mystery of Perkin Warbeck and His Quest for the Throne of England

The Perfect Prince by Ann Wroe
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Jan 03, 12

Read from December 18, 2011 to January 02, 2012

I found this book quite dense and difficult to read for long periods (although some of that might have been the fact that I was unwell). The information about Perkin was interesting, but I felt there was a lot of padding about other things that were happening, or possibly happening that were not needed and which made following the main thread about Perking himself difficult to follow. The author also makes no conclusions about the truth of Perkins claims, but does seem quite balanced in her approach.

In 1491, as Machiavelli advised popes and princes and Leonardo da Vinci astonished the art world, a young man boarded a ship in Portugal bound for Ireland. He would be greeted upon arrival as the rightful heir to the throne of England. The trouble was, England already had a king.

The most intriguing and ambitious pretender in history, this elegant young man was celebrated throughout Europe as the prince he claimed to be: Richard, Duke of York, the younger of the “Princes in the Tower” who were presumed to have been murdered almost a decade earlier. Handsome, well-mannered, and charismatic, he behaved like the perfect prince, and many believed he was one. The greatest European rulers of the age—among them the emperor Maximilian, Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, and Charles VIII of France—used him as a diplomatic pawn to their own advantage. As such, he tormented Henry VII for eight years, attempting to invade England three times. Eventually, defeated and captured, he admitted to being Perkin Warbeck, the son of a common boatman from Flanders. But was this really the truth?
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