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Richard III: Loyalty Binds Me

4.66  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  23 reviews
King Richard III remains one of the most controversial figures in English history. Matthew Lewis’s new biography aims to become a definitive account of his life by exploring what is known of his childhood and the impacts it had on his personality and view of the world around him. From a childhood of privilege, he would be cast into insecurity and exile only to become a roy ...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published June 1st 2019 by Amberley Publishing
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Average rating 4.66  · 
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Sarah Bryson
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another biography on Richard III I hear you say? Well I can tell you that this is not just any other book on Richard III! While books in the past have focused primarily on the last few years of Richard’s life, specifically during his Kingship and ultimate death, Matthew Lewis focuses on Richard’s whole life, from birth, through his formative years to the events leading up to his time as King.

Lewis focuses a great deal of attention on Richard’s youth and time growing up during the turbulent Wars
...more
Tony Riches
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With a forensic approach to uncovering the facts, Matthew Lewis brings his literary style to relating Richard's story. By following the detail of his troubled boyhood, we begin to understand how the man who emerges from his brother's shadow might feel he has something to prove. Pious and chivalric, Richard could have earned his living as a lawyer if circumstance had not made him a warrior king.

Richard might have ruled for little more than two years but until his dying breath he fought with great
...more
Deyanira
May 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
One of the newest non fiction about Richard III, I really enjoyed the reading, it is more than a Biography in my opinion because I learnt other interesting facts of Richard's time that can give us and idea of how was his life, first as the son of the man who was fighting for the crown, later as the king's youngest brother, in this part it's very interesting learn about the expenses and how Richard wasn't so privileged in the beginning of Edward's reign as one could believe, something t
...more
Elena
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ricardian-books
A very detailed, accurate and comprehensive account of the life of Richard III. Very readable and enjoyable, and one that aims with success to re establish the reputation of this much maligned king. The only flaw I found is the chapter about Richard marriage and subsequent struggle over his wife inheritance, which resulted confused about the chronology of the events and mistaken in some respects (such as the affinity issue, the division of the lands and the incomplete citation of the later provi ...more
Pauline Calkin
This is an even-handed look at Richard III’s life by an admitted Ricardian. Lewis eschews romanticizing Richard, and concentrates almost exclusively on his public acts and policies. Thus, we know about every commission he was appointed to by his brother, so the reading becomes a little dry.
Lewis relies on contemporary sources, and I appreciated his cogent assessment of their reliability—or lack thereof with respect to certain reports. Thus, he discounts Mancini’s report Edward IV’s bastardy was
...more
Sarah
"The study of history is the asking of questions. In an age of fake news and dangerous agendas, it is a skill that must never be lost."

Before I read this, I held Baldwin's Richard III to be the best I'd read on Richard. Lewis' has absolutely taken over that mantle; he's a Ricardian and whilst that may be enough to turn many away for fear that Richard is lauded as a saint, I cannot express how much this isn't the case. Lewis is fair, examining everything - even if it means Richard isn't cast in t
...more
Karen
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Matthew Lewis set a challenge in his Introduction to leave whatever baggage I had brought to the doorway outside and enter with a mind freed from it's weight. A tough challenge but he has, for me, made the challenge easier by his careful research, the constant gleanings from both primary and later sources trying to show a balanced view of a man more often than not demonised.

I found this fascinating biography illuminating, the first I've read that gives the reader information that Richard suffere
...more
Katja
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-in-english
I'm glad there's a new biography of Richard III, after the discovery of his remains, even though this book refers to it quite briefly. But now the biographies don't need to guess what happened after his defeat at Bosworth and we now know of his scoliosis too. And I'm even gladder that this book is so excellent!

The book looks at Richard's life as a whole and examines his short reign as king in the light of his life and actions before it. And that's something I myself always want to point to peopl
...more
Emma
Excellent. Well researched and, I thought, very balanced.
Richard West
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, history
Interesting to read, but difficult at the same time. It should not take me 10 days to read a book that is 392 pages long, but it did because: The type size was small and it was more like 700 pages, but even worse was the fact the author included all the olde English writing when quoting sources. Most people would have translated them into modern-day English, but we're left to do the translating for ourselves and that takes a while when you have a whole page that is written like this: (I made thi ...more
Heidi Malagisi
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When we study history and look at certain people, we often have a tendency to treat them almost like fictional characters. They are either the hero, all good with no flaws, or villains, all bad where we only focus on their flaws. We don’t see the person as “human”, neither good nor bad, just someone who tried their lives to the best of their abilities. One such person who tends to get either the hero or the villain treatment is King Richard III of England. To some, he is “white knight”, a man wh ...more
Ruth Harwood
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved reading this - a book that makes sense of the myths and untruths surrounding this much maligned man. He was a man after all, human just the same as any of us, and this is the first book I've read about him that actually attempts to make sense of the moves made through looking at events in his youth that shaped him - you know, the old saying 'we are the sun of our experiences'. As true then as it is now.
Written by a Ricardian, of which I'm proud to say I'm one, though not makin
...more
Carolyn Thomas
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Matthew Lewis makes no secret of the fact that he is pro-Richard but still manages quite ably to write a fair and balanced account, meticulously researched, of the life of King Richard III.
Not much is known about Richard’s childhood and so a lot of the first part of the book mainly covers Henry VI, Richard’s father and the precarious life Richard and his brother George led as the family fortunes waxed and waned. With the crowning of his older brother Edward as king, Richard moved more into the s
...more
Gilda Felt
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lewis is a Ricardian, something he doesn’t try to hide. But at the same time, he strives to be as evenhanded as he can when it comes to what we know and what we don’t know about Richard III. There’s no “this happened,” or “this didn’t happen,” when there’s no proof either way that it did, or didn’t. The facts are presented, and it’s up to the reader to decide for herself.

He takes into account Richard’s scoliosis, something not possible before. He wonders how it might have affected how Richard sa
...more
Katherine
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend! I've been casually interested in Richard III since high school and used this biography for a college paper and thoroughly enjoyed learning details about Richard and his life that I hadn't known before. I also had never made up my mind about the princes in the tower or spent much time considering that particular event in Richard's life but the facts laid out in Loyalty Binds Me makes for quite a bit of reasonable doubt that even a hardcore anti-Ricardian (hi alison!) might have ...more
Caroline
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I decided to read this because I needed a break from stuff and this was about was far from the news of the day as I could get. Lewis takes a dispassionate view of the life of Richard, constantly reminding us that neither the evil Richard nor the perfect Richard is likely to be the real Richard. It is easy to see how by the time he came to adulthood he had learned that you needed to be decisive about dealing with those you believe are your enemies; his father and brother had both shown him what c ...more
Joanne Miller
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating and deeply researched biography of Richard III. While the author is a self-proclaimed 'Ricardian', he does not fail to present multiple opinions and possibilities for the events in Richard's life. As a 'read', I thoroughly enjoyed the book - never heavy, never dogmatic or dry. Wouls that all textbooks could be written so well. I may even have found some information about a couple of members of my own family history (the Bells of Uredale/Wensley area).

If you want a thorough and though
...more
Keeley
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent read on Richard III. This book is a well researched, well written book on Richard III and the period of history during his life. I have to compare this book to the level of Eric Ives Anne Boleyn book. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in this period. My only wish is that the Old English was separated from the rest of the text.
Simenon Honoré
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's rare that a history book throws an entirely new perspective on a well ploughed topic like Richard III but Matthew Lewis' book does just that. Well researched and authoritative, it's been an eye-opening pleasure to read.
...more
Judith Coote
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you want to know the real Richard 3rd this is a must have/read
Annie Garthwaite
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Best bio of Richard III I've read. Bar none. ...more
James
Well-written and detailed biography of a controversial figure from history. The author tried to be fair and share all the evidence and alternative points of view, which I liked, but in the end was just a bit too Ricardian (which he admits) not to put a good spin on all Richard's actions. Still well worth reading, just a little bit more neutrality would have pushed it up to a five. ...more
Barbara Lynn Johnson
A great read

This book was such a great read. I could not put the book down. I highly recommend this book. I give the book 5 stars!
Kieran O'connell
rated it it was amazing
Apr 07, 2019
Jeannette Aquino
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Nov 10, 2020
P H Brayshaw
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Jul 24, 2020
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Jan 19, 2019
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Matthew Lewis is the author of histories and historical fiction novels about Richard III and the Wars of the Roses. The medieval period is a particular passion of Matthew’s, a passion he hopes to share through his blog. He is dedicated to teaching and discussing this period, operating two history podcasts and providing bite-sized facts to his Twitter and Facebook following.

Lewis has degree in Law
...more

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