Melisende d'Outremer's Reviews > The Princes in the Tower

The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir
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's review
Sep 10, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: england, history, royalty, crime
Read from September 09 to 18, 2011

** spoiler alert ** Giving this one a go despite Weir not being a favourite author of mine.

So, I've finally finished this one. If I was hoping for something at least semi-objective, I was mistaken. From the outset Weir lets you know firmly which camp her tent is pitched in - and the book then follows this course.

What I find disconcerting is all her arguments against Richard III could equally be applied to Henry VII - however I personally don't believe that she achieved this. Weir sets out from the start with the aim of proving Richard's guilt without, I think, examining more the role of the other protagonists.

Her arguments are based mainly on the works of Thomas More, whose work she freely admits contains much detail, though is erroneous when it comes to dates and names, and contains many eloquent speeches. His work, she argues, must be believed because it was never intended for publication and as such is objective in its aim. We are also told to believe in Tyrrell's confession because Henry VII made no use of it (Tyrrell was in the service of both Richard III and Henry VII). And we are to believe in Richard's guilt due to his silence on the fate of the princes - something of which Henry VII himself was also guilty of (silence, that is).

The chapter on the scientific / forensic evidence is a mere four pages - it rests solely on the evidence of bones (belonging to children) and a piece of velvet (claimed only worn by the highest nobility). Ergo juvenile bones and a scrap of rag equal incontrovertible proof.

I was not expecting much - as I mentioned Weir is not my favourite author - and this really maintains my belief. A more evenhanded approach would have been nice - but who am I kidding.

Oh, and for all those Edward II buffs - page 165 - para 2 - line 13 (she should really proof read her work - especially in relation to theories she has espoused in this area in the past!).

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09/14/2011 page 172

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message 1: by Christina (new)

Christina Do you know a better book on this topic?

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