Ikonopeiston's Reviews > Richard III: The Last Plantagenet

Richard III by Michael Sidney Tyler-Whittle
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's review
Apr 07, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: ricardian
Read in April, 2009

Alas, this is one of the lamer fictional accounts of the life of Richard III. Tyler-Whittle's concept of the man reminds me of a reflection cast in a pool, somehow distorted and impossible to touch without destroying. He is a one-dimensional figure with no real blood in him. The book is oddly unbalanced with a great deal of time being given to the early days, yet with no suggestion of what Richard did or how he behaved to make the boys he met them love him enough to stay with him all his life and be willing to die for him.

One of the irritating things about this work is the lack of dates. Richard is a boy then suddenly he is all grown up and swinging a sword/axe. Except that we are never permitted to see any battles. We are told Richard won the hearts of Londoners by his courage but we are only told that, never shown it. The events after Edward IV is safe on his throne and onward are only skimmed. We are told Edward has changed but not how. In fact, that is the chief problem with this book, he keeps on telling and telling and telling and will not show a damned thing. His dialogue is dreadful as well.

There is another explanation for the death of Clarence, who is throughout a bloody nuisance. Cecily, the Duchess of York, has become a sort of prematurely aged Cassandra, all cryptic warnings and black draperies. Anne is a saint; Buckingham a cad, and Richard - oh dear Richard - is a crashing bore.

I think the author meant well, but he should have stuck to books on botany. Bah!
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Reading Progress

04/07/2009 page 130 "This Richard is just a bit watery."

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