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Richard III and the Murder in the Tower

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  110 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Since Tudor times Richard III has been painted as the "black legend," the murderous uncle—however, the truth is much more complicated and interesting
Richard III is accused of murdering his nephews, the "Princes in the Tower," in order to usurp the throne of England, but this book tells a different story. Rather than looking at all the killings Richard III did not commit, 
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by The History Press (first published June 1st 2009)
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Familiar with the story of the young Princes in the tower, conventional wisdom states that Richard III was the engineer of their demise. Hancock however, finds that the clear evidence that could definitively state that Richard, commonly known as the hunchbacked tyrant from Shakespeare was the culprit. Instead, Hancock takes us on a twisty (and the Yorks, Tudors and Plantagenets were all twisty) tale of a certain death laid at his feet: that o
Gilda Felt
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating and informative book, it takes on this little discussed execution and turns it on its head (no pun intended.) Normally, either the writer glosses over the execution, or uses it as further reason to damn Richard. But this author dug deeper. Step by step, the reader is led through every bit of information, about the event, as well as the players. And while we’ll never know if his conclusions are right, they certainly ring true, and make a lot of sense.

Unlike many, I wasn’t disappoint
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Hancock is a little too pleased with himself with the fake-out of the title and beginning of the book, heavily implying it’s another examination of what happened to the Princes in the Tower. Surprise! It’s all about the death of Lord Hastings, whose head was chopped off on Richard’s orders under murky circumstances.

After the fake out beginning, Hancock gets down to brass tacks and does a heavy scrutiny of all the players involved, examining primary sources, timelines of when people’s physical lo
Carole P. Roman
Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting theory on the events leading to the murder of the Princes in the Tower. Professor Hancock takes you there with almost a "Time" magazine quality and puts everything into 15th century perspective. While Hastings execution is given a compelling reason, I still believe Richard knew about Edward's pre-contract with Eleanor Butler, and he had to get rid of anyone who was sympathetic with Edward's children. Hastings was a King's man and had to have been duty bound to carry out his liege lor ...more
Pam Shelton-anderson
I am a long time student of this era of English history and will also state that I would identify with the Ricardian camp of those that believe he has been unjustly smeared by history. I very much liked this book. He focuses in minute detail on the events surrounding Richard's decision to take the throne. He uses and analyzes all of the existing sources and makes an excellent case for his position that Hastings execution was related to his knowledge of Edward's pre-contract. I will be reading th ...more
Joan Szechtman
Sep 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The title is misleading. The deaths of the Princes, held in the Tower, were scarcely mentioned. The main subject of the book appears to be the summary execution of William, Lord Hastings (without trial) and the reasons for this, which I don't find entirely convincing. Much is made of Richard's loyalty to his brother Edward IV and the importance of loyalty to Richard himself. Hastings' loyalty to Edward IV's memory, led him to withold from Richard information that his late brother had been betrot ...more
Dave Gray
The murder in question here was not that of the two princes, but of Lord hastings. Hancock has an interesting theory about this, which ties in to Richard's decision to usurp the throne. While the basic idea does seem to make sense it is founded on pure speculation, and has no tangible proof. Hancock spends a lot of time, quite repetitively, trying to gather support for his central thesis by tying various characters and events together but, again, it is entirely speculative. I would have liked to ...more
Richard Wright
Dec 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I picked this book up while researching a short story, and found it engaging and well laid out. It's dense with names and dates in places, and outside of the central question it tries to answer (at what point did Richard decide that he wanted to be king?) glosses over a lot of details, but there's just enough to follow along with the arguments, which are sourced and cogent. In the end, I didn't use a jot of what I discovered here, but I enjoyed following the detective work and sound reasoning of ...more
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As much as I adore English history, I had the hardest time getting into this book. Not already being in possession of a strong knowledge base on the reign of Richard III, a lot of the text came off as a string of names and dates that all blended together and kept the immersion level low enough that pretty much anything worked to be a distraction. I'm actually rather sad that I didn't like this more.

The paper quality, though, was stellar.
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting read. I'm not 100% sure if I agree with Hancock's theory as to why Hastings was executed so suddenly, but as we don't know the real reason or what was going through Richard's head that morning, it's as good as any other theory there might be. I would be interested to read a book by Hancock about the Princes in the Tower, which he briefly touches on in this book.
Angela Reeves
Jul 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
Feb 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hancock pulls together lots and lots of evidence to support his guesses. I haven't read anything that gives so much attention to Catesby before.
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RIII 1 9 Sep 29, 2009 06:41AM  
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  • Richard III: The Maligned King
  • The Wars of the Roses: Through the Lives of Five Men and Women of the Fifteenth Century
  • Richard III (Revealing History)
  • Bosworth 1485: The Battle that Transformed England
  • Anne Neville: Richard III's Tragic Queen
  • Richard III and the Princes in the Tower
  • Royal Blood: Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes
  • Edward IV
  • The Life and Times of Richard III (Kings and Queens of England)
  • The Wars of the Roses: Peace and Conflict in Fifteenth-Century England
  • Edward IV and the Wars of the Roses
  • The Rise of the Tudors: The Family That Changed English History
  • Fatal Colours
  • The Plantagenet Chronicles 1154-1485: Richard the Lionheart, Richard II, Henry V, Richard III
  • Richard the Third
  • Fears of Henry IV: The Life of England's Self-made King