THE PRINCES IN THE TOWER by Alison Weir

THE PRINCES IN THE TOWER

KIRKUS REVIEW

 The methods of a Mafia boss characterized the career of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who in the 15th century briefly ruled England as Richard III. Here, Weir (The Six Wives of Henry VIII, 1992) throws new light on this horror story--and especially on the mysterious disappearance of the two boys who stood in Richard's way. In the 15th century, the succession to the English throne was never stable. A crisis occurred when the saintly Henry VI had a nervous breakdown and was ousted in 1465 by Edward IV. Henry was confined in the Tower of London, part of which was a royal palace, and eventually he was murdered there on Edward's orders, probably by Edward's youngest brother, Richard of Gloucester. When, in 1483, Edward died prematurely, Richard seized power as Lord Protector of the Realm, since the heir apparent, Edward V, was only 13 years old. Within weeks, Richard coerced Parliament into declaring him king on the supposed grounds that the late king's marriage had been invalid. Edward V and his brother, the ten-year old Richard, Duke of York, were removed to the Tower of London, never to be seen again, and most people assumed that Richard had ordered the princes murdered. Richard's former allies began to plot against him--but the monarch died in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth. Here, Weir relates these many intrigues and political executions in a highly readable, brisk manner that's at once vivid and scholarly. She makes special use of older accounts written by Dominic Mancini, the Croyland Chroniclers, and St. Thomas More, and she emphasizes the role of Edward IV's queen and her ambitious family. Above all, Weir argues her way convincingly through recent scholarship and the ongoing debate as to the princes' fate and Richard's role in it. (A genealogical table is provided.) A fascinating historical whodunit in which truth is more sordid than fiction. (Eight pages of b&w photographs)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-345-38372-9
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1993




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