Saturday 3 October 2020

Guest Audiobook Review: Richard III and the Ultimate Game for the Throne By Carol Derbyshire

This is no mythical kingdom. This is England.
This is not fiction, but complete fact. Don't they say that the truth is stranger than fiction?
This was the 15th century and in this green and pleasant land, numerous players took their chances in the ultimate game. The prize was the throne of England.
The game was harsh and it was brutal.
Rival families went to war, leaving cousins dead on the battlefield. Brother fought brother as power corrupted and twisted men's souls. Families were imprisoned and executed. Men were dragged from holy places and murdered where they stood. Advisers schemed and swapped sides. King murdered king in the Tower of London.
And it finally ended with a glorious battle charge to either absolute victory or certain death.
This was the Wars of the Roses.
For 30 years a brutal and bloody civil war ravished the country. The two rival royal houses, York and Lancaster, fought for control and for the crown. During this period the throne changed hands seven times. Two kings were murdered in the Tower. Princes of the realm were executed in cold blood. The period includes immortal figures from history, Henry VI, Edward IV, The Princes in the Tower, Margaret Beaufort, Henry Tudor, Elizabeth of York, and the Kingmaker himself: Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick.
But there was one figure that lived through the entire war. One figure that was central to the conflict. One figure that still divides opinion today.
Richard III.
This is his story and the game that he played for the throne of England.

Review: Richard Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester and later to become King Richard III of England, was born at Fotheringhay Castle in 1452. This was immediately prior to the Wars of the Roses, a dynastic struggle for the throne of England between the Houses of Lancaster and York which lasted some thirty years. He died at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 and Henry Tudor became King Henry VII, the first of the Tudor dynasty, at the end of the Wars of the Roses. Richard was the last Plantagenet king of England and the last king to die in battle. His rise to power and his rule is shrouded in controversy. This short book is a history of his life and of his reign, set against a period of conflict in England.

There is a short introduction to his early life, but the book focuses more on his later life following his brother Edward IV’s consolidation of power in 1471. After Edward’s victories at the Battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury, Richard based himself in the north of England, spending most of his time at Middleham Castle in Yorkshire. In 1483, Edward died suddenly and his son, who was 12, became King Edward V, with Richard appointed as his protector. However, Richard had Edward V declared illegitimate and assumed the role of king himself, becoming King Richard III.

The book also describes the discovery, in 2012, of an almost complete skeleton during an archeological dig at the site of what was believed to be the former Greyfriars Church in Leicester. Subsequent examination of the skeleton revealed a marked curvature of the spine and severe trauma injuries to the skull, whilst DNA testing provided support for the proposition that the remains were those of Richard.

The book provides an introduction to the life and times of Richard III but I found that, due to its shortness, it lacked detail. There were also numerous typographical errors throughout, which detracted from the book somewhat.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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