The Princes in the Tower

The Princes in the Tower Despite Five Centuries Of Investigation By Historians, The Sinister Deaths Of The Boy King Edward V And His Younger Brother Richard, Duke Of York, Remain Two Of The Most Fascinating Murder Mysteries In English History Did Richard III Really Kill The Princes In The Tower, As Is Commonly Believed, Or Was The Murderer Someone Else Entirely Carefully Examining Every Shred Of Contemporary Evidence As Well As Dozens Of Modern Accounts, Alison Weir Reconstructs The Entire Chain Of Events Leading To The Double Murder We Are Witnesses To The Rivalry, Ambition, Intrigue, And Struggle For Power That Culminated In The Imprisonment Of The Princes And The Hushed Up Murders That Secured Richard S Claim To The Throne As Richard III A Masterpiece Of Historical Research And A Riveting Story Of Conspiracy And Deception, The Princes In The Tower At Last Provides A Solution To This Age Old PuzzleLook For Special Features InsideJoin The Circle For Author Chats AndRandomHouseReadersCircle

Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.Alison Weir is a British writer of history books for the general public, mostly in the form of biographies about British kings and queens, and of historical fiction Before becoming an author, Weir worked as a teacher of children with special needs She received her formal training in history at teacher trai

❅ [KINDLE] ✾ The Princes in the Tower By Alison Weir ➞ – Ultimatetrout.info
  • Paperback
  • 287 pages
  • The Princes in the Tower
  • Alison Weir
  • English
  • 15 September 2017
  • 9780345391780

10 thoughts on “The Princes in the Tower

  1. says:

    I love history and I love mysteries so it was only a matter of time before I read about The Princes in the Tower especially considering that Brad and I covered the first part of The Wars of the Roses WOTR in August.For anyone wanting to read this yes, there might be a few facts I m going to state that could be considered spoilers Only read the review if you don t mind.As in her first book about the WOTR, this author shows a lot of skill and diligence in collecting data and quoting sources to make her points However, her sources are one thing I do not agree with in this book Many either were people influenced by the monarchs they wrote the chronicles for or were actual friends of said monarchs and all those monarchs in question had a strong interest in Richard III being an evil demon while everyone else was innocent in every way Yeah, right looking at you, Elizabeth of York.Anyway, let s start at the beginning.The story is that the first War of the Roses and the reign of the Lancasters ended when Edward of York became King Edward IV He wasn t without fault but he definitely was a good ruler who knew a lot about economy and how to keep his kingdom safe He was also charismatic which is never a bad thing for a leader In theory Unfortunately, he like many before him gave too few people too much influence by way of lands and titles in order to secure their loyalty, thus creating two very powerful factions that were basically at war with one another He also married a commoner which made sure almost everyone started the yapping and the snapping again The queen s family became one of the over powerful factions, never good but even infuriating to most magnates since they were low born people with the power of old noble families A lot of children were born to Edward IV and Elizabeth Wydville but only 2 boys, Edward the older and Richard the younger.When Edward IV died fairly young probably from his excessive eating, drinking and whateverelse , the heir to the throne was only 12 years old And as if that was not bad enough, the dying king in his last will named his brother Richard Gloucester Protector of the Realm and therefore also protector of the future king until he came of age there was no definite age determined and parliament didn t HAVE to follow the late king s wish but usually it did The problem with that was that Richard Gloucester and the queen her family were enemies Thus, Richard felt threatened by the prospect of his nephew a mommy s boy becoming king because once the king was crowned, any protectorate was null and void and that would have left Richard out in the cold and at the mercy of a king strongly influenced by his mother.Therefore, the future king was taken to the Tower of London while his coronation was supposedly organized and soon after that Richard negotiated with the dowager queen who lived in sanctuary at the time for her younger son to join his brother I know she was in a tough spot but how stupid could she be The princes were declared illegitimate by a parliament that was intimidated by Richard Gloucester having ruthlessly killed or at least imprisoned a number of people opposing him and Richard was crowned King Richard III Beyond that, not much is known except that after the coronation the brothers were never seen or heard of again This entire thing is a mess, just like the first half of the WOTR I truly believe that most people here didn t want things to turn out this way but because of fear not greed as during the first half and being pressed for time, they all fucked up There is no other way to say this At some point, neither side could back down any , leading to catastrophy.Now, I ve always hated how Richard III was made a villain There are a lot of things that just never sat right with me Like how he was portrayed a loyal brother and able fighter on the battlefield at first, only to be turned into a cowardly cripple physical deformations being the mark of evil people later The fact is that Richard III did always fight himself WITH his men unlike a certain king after him cough and couldn t have done so nor could he have been such a good successful fighter in battle had he had all the deformities that were later attributed to him Also, I don t believe in people being 100% evil from the start it s never black or white but nuanced and complicated, that is just how humans are and for him to always secretly have been cruel and evil would be too convenient.In this book, we do get evidence that the princes were killed during Richard III s reign Moreover, the author was very good in showing that the then commander of the Tower was loyal to Richard III and always refused entrance to anyone not having Richard s permission to see the princes, making it extremely unlikely that anyone plotting the children s murder would have gotten to them without the king s help Also, the reaction of said commander after the coronation as well as Buckingham s behaviour are strong indicators And let s not forget that on several occasions it would have been highly beneficial to Richard III to show his nephews to appeace his subjects and therefore thwart his adversaries plans but he never did strongly suggesting that the children really were dead After the evidence presented, I also believe that Richard III gave the command to have them killed in order to stop future rebellions on his nephew s behalf enough attempts were made even so Rash and desperate but comprehensible and most surprisingly not that uncommon OK, usually the persons killed were older but the moral outrage of some at the time really is hypocritical at best.Richard III was a strong character who knew what he wanted and how to get it but so was his own brother, Edward IV, who especially when he had his own brother George executed probably even was a role model for Richard III s later actions However, there were many other trivial reasons like him being regarded as a northener that made him unpopular and the whole thing grew from there 200 years later, bones were indeed found at the Tower of London and the forensic evidence shown here and some I found online after a bit of research leads me to believe that these bones did indeed belong to the princes Sorry to all the conspiracy fans who hold with the theory that the princes were smuggled to safety extremely unlikely anyway because they would have tried to get the throne back at some point Interestingly, Thomas More, whom I considered one of the most biased sources in this book, was the most accurate one right down to his account of what was done to the bodies of the boys as is now proven although not 100% beyond a doubt thanks to the discovery of the bones.The last two chapters with the forensic evidence were the best ones because they were the least infuriating The other 80% of the book were written in a very good way, don t get me wrong, but the author had to rely on the afore mentioned dubious sources I love science and although it certainly is not without fault, I believe in science much than in gossip As I know from several cops friends of the family , eye witness reports are extremely unreliable after all As stated in a status update before, the author claims that historians don t need proof like a jury circumstantial evidence is enough I agree to a certain degree since we don t have to actually convict a living person, but what the author presented as circumstantial evidence was a load of rubbish hear say and most often from people who had good reason to hate Richard reasons that had nothing to do with the murder of two boys That just isn t going to do the trick for me Moreover, she stated Much of what was written under the Tudors certainly served as propaganda against Richard, but for propaganda to succeed it must be believable it only works if it is based on fact, which is a very false and even dangerous statement The funny thing is that I often arrived at the same conclusion as the author or her sources, but for completely different reasons I cannot agree with her their logic in 75% of the cases.To conclude my opinion Richard III didn t want the crown, initially, but got fearful of the queen s wrath and in order to ensure his own survival he plotted to become king Richard III really only wanted to keep the boys locked up but had them killed in the Tower of London However, he might not have done so if it hadn t been for a plot of the boys own mother that convinced Richard that his throne wasn t save as long as they lived He didn t poison his wife While his wife was still alive but already terminally ill he had an affair probably of a sexual nature with his niece Elizabeth of York who later married King Henry VII Henry VII let others fight for him, always taking the easy way out and at least until their eldest son, Arthur, died he wasn t a very loving although at least faithful husband who even let his wife live in what was perceived as poverty not as brave and noble as he usually gets portrayed For all he did, Richard III did not deserve to be treated the way he was treated at Bosworth I m referring to his loyal subjects standing idly by or even fighting for Henry VII like the Stanleys as well as how he was killed one against many and what was done to his body after he was killed.As I said, a lot has to be presumed nothing new when it comes to history but that will never change until we invent time travel and go back to see for ourselves But there is a lot that can be deduced from written records, letters, forensic evidence etc.Again, I liked the author s style although I had much reason to disagree with her in this book I already anticipated that however.For any history fan who wants to know about the second part of The Wars of the Roses, this is a must read because Alison Weir is extremely thorough.

  2. says:

    This is my favorite book to mutter angrily at I actually told my library that I lost it and paid for it so I could keep the copy I had scribbled angry comments in the margins.That said, it s an excellent overview of the historical scenario of the time it s very readable, if a bit pulpy Unfortunately, Weir did not go into writing this book with an open mind she went in condemning Richard, and it shows.I read this right after reading Josephine Tey s excellent and eye opening The Daughter of Time, because I thought it was only fair to get an anti Richard opinion before I decided where on the spectrum my opinions lay I wanted her to convince me that Richard was guilty as neatly as Tey had convinced me that he was innocent I really wanted to see both sides of the argument.Instead, I found a myriad of holes in Weir s historicity and reasoning including places where she actually contradicts herself.Read it to get a sense of the historical drama, and to pick up the set of the stage and a sense of the major players But don t read it expecting a logical argument or historical, non agenda driven honesty.

  3. says:

    In the Author s Preface that introduces this book, Weir states, We are dealing here with facts, not just speculation or theories, which I have tried very hard to avoid This is quickly followed by the first sentence of the first chapter, which reads, Modern writers on the subject of the Princes in the Tower have tended to fall into two categories those who believe Richard III guilty of the murder of the Princes but are afraid to commit themselves to any confident conclusions, and those who would like to see Richard or less canonised It seems that what Weir meant by avoiding theories in favor of fact was that she would state each of her theories as fact.I am not opposed to reading arguments that support Richard III as the murderer of the Princes Though I tend to enjoy favorable writings, I also understand that there is a good chance that he did kill his nephews Before you take away my Richard III Society membership card, let me explain It would be great to know what really happened According to Weir, this 500 year old mystery is solved and we just don t want to admit it Then why are so many people still disputing it Apparently all these dissenters are just not open to the truth about St Richard.This book would have been appropriately titled The Wicked Uncle, which is actually the name of one of the chapters in this supposedly balanced and unbiased work of nonfiction Not until chapter 13 do we find anything about the princes, as Weir feels the need to establish Richard III as a blood thirsty usurper whose loyalty was only skin deep for the past 30 years before moving on to convict him of regicide Other theories are mentioned, sort of They are brought up in a way I might say, So so believes this really stupid idea Isn t that ridiculous Weir brings up many pieces of evidence and proceeds to discuss only how they support the conclusion she has already decided upon For example, in her discussion of sources, she talks about Thomas More and the history that he had written but never finished Though she admits that this source has errors and creates dialog, she continues to use it as her most frequently referenced evidence She shrugs off the idea that More quite possibly got much of his information from John Morton, who was known to have a bad relationship with Richard long before Richard took the throne She also doesn t mention that More was only 5 years old in 1483 and therefore could not have witnessed anything firsthand.I could go on and on with examples of evidence that are presented in such a way that only one conclusion could possibly be reached If I didn t have prior knowledge of the events and people Weir is writing about, I would be convinced This probably would have been an interesting and compelling book to read if I were not troubled by the biased presentation and half truths.It may seem like a minor point to others, but I was especially bothered by the comments regarding Richard s personal faith and prayers Based on a prayer that Richard had written in one of his personal prayer books where he had expressed gratitude for Christ redeeming him from eternal damnation, Weir assumes that he had committed a horrific sin you know, like killing his nephews that would deserve damnation Any Christian reading the prayer would recognize it as a typical prayer of thanksgiving for Christ s sacrifice as all fall short of the glory of God and deserve eternal damnation This was in no way a confession by Richard, at least not of what Weir implies he is confessing Her faulty interpretation of it throws a shadow over other pieces of evidence that she claims could only mean one thing the thing she is trying to say.After the first quarter of this book Oops, almost called it a novel Nope, this is nonfiction, despite the fact that I have read balanced arguments in historical fiction , I began skimming I came across too many phrases like their intention was , only plausible explanation , they knew that , wholeheartedly supported , and no one now doubted to take this book seriously Weir makes a few too many claims to know the minds and hearts of people, insists too many times that there is only one interpretation of actions, and states too firmly only one man could have been responsible for their deaths Richard III.

  4. says:

    Interesting persepective, maybe it is true, maybe not Something still doesn t seem right to me I would like to find a book with Richard in a positive light Recommendations

  5. says:

    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 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 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.

  6. says:

    This book focuses around the short lives and mysterious death of the two sons of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville Who, as a fun little anecdote, Edward IV threatened at knifepoint to get her to marry him In any case They were declared illegitimate after Richard III took power, and imprisoned in the Tower of London and were never seen again Richard III supposedly had them murdered within a year of this time Alison Weir does clearly have a bias against Richard, but I think that the bias is reasonable given the evidence presented There are other suspects, but none with as much reason and evidence against them as Richard The bodies of two young children were discovered underneath a part of the tower in in the late 1600s, right under where they had been housed Elizabeth Windsor won t let people touch them and see, but the leap isn t hard to make Richard III may not have been as evil as Shakespeare painted him, but he was certainly coldly calculating enough to have done it to secure his power I really enjoyed this book If you are a dorky fan of English history like me, so will you Alison Weir writes very well and tries hard to make her books accessible to people, which is a plus for history based tomes

  7. says:

    I m going to make a couple disclaimers right now If you think that Richard III is the best most misunderstood man to ever exist that he never did anything wrong, never had any ambition, and was most definitely not capable of violence or infidelity this book is not for you Move on Open another screen Re read The Sunne in Splendour for the fiftieth time because I ve heard that one is rather sympathetic, if fictional.Further, I should probably add that although I share her opinion of Richard s guilt though my theory is of a probably than certainty I don t necessarily think that Alison Weir is the best historian When it comes to set in stone facts, she knows her stuff However, she is at the end of the day a popular historian vs an academic historian, and her personal opinions often bleed into her research The Princes in the Tower , though interesting and informative, is especially colored by Weir s opinions The Princes in the Tower features plenty of contemporary sources, and some popular ones that everyone should read about even if they don t necessarily agree with them Weir strongly believes that Richard III ordered the murders of his nephews I agree, though far less strongly You can feel her passion seeping off of the pages But that, as it so often does with Weir, corrupts the objectiveness of the book In fact, it s basically the opposite of objective, which endangers its credibility.Really, The Princes in the Tower would have benefited from of a detached perspective on Richard s character, which is so arguable We don t know much about who the guy was Yet Weir seems to think that he would do the absolute worst thing in every situation without allowing that so often, what seems like the absolute worst thing to a modern audience actually wasn t so implausible to a fifteenth century politician Perhaps Richard was capable of murdering his nephews but did he really pick the most evil option every time just for the sake of being evil I also tend to think that it was quite possible that Richard considered marring his niece, Elizabeth of York Yet Weir backs the theory that Richard and Elizabeth had an affair with very little backing Her opinions weren t always completely implausible they just needed evidence She doesn t prove her case.Nonetheless, the book gives a lot of interesting, unquestionable information that makes you wonder and do further research It s not a must read, and I tend to think that it s for someone who s already done a little research on the subject beforehand But if you re looking for a controversial opinion on Richard III and one that doesn t fawn over him as if he was the second coming it s definitely up your alley.

  8. says:

    The Princes in the Tower these would be Edward V and brother Richard sons of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville is a fascinating and unsolved mystery cue Robert Stack which hundreds of years later, STILL raises eyebrows, bogs some minds, and interests history and non history buffs alike The desperately unlikable usurper Richard III, who does have a claim to the throne as a decendent of Richard, Duke of York who descends from both Lionel Duke of Clarence and Edmund Duke of York who were both sons of Edward III did you get that Trust me, I read lots of genelogical charts to get it all straight but pure ambition and greed led to his declaring his brothers Edward IV and George illegimate in order to declare the princes and newly but not yet annointed boy king Edward V also as bastards so he can gain the throne The drama builds as he locks the boys in the Tower of London to prevent Edawrd from his coronation and basicallly the boys are never seen again The highest regarded theory is that Richard had had the Duke of Buckingham personally or indirectly smother the boys in their beds and then bury them under stairs Yes, Weir is pointedly assured of Richard s guilt which I feel is quite obvious but regardless of her bias, she does provide extensive research and reports, well thought out paths of crimimal acitivity, and proven results such as the skeletons which were found under the steps and some of the analysis done on the bones.Regardless of whether you think Richard was the dark, evil man he is portrayed as or not, The Princes in the Tower is not only history but an entertaining mystery Another job well done by Alison Weir.

  9. says:

    OK, I don t share her prejudice.but that is the problem right there no self respecting historian has any right to go around writing a book that has no intention of even trying for objectivity We are all entitled to our blind spots Mine include blind prejudice The blurb says that Alison Weir builds a devastating case as far as I can see, all she did was repeat all the old slurs and gossip and produced not one shred of new evidence to support the unreconstructed case The Wicked Uncle is actually the name of one of the chapters in this supposedly balanced and unbiased work of nonfiction She spends the first 13 chapters establishing that Richard is a blood thirsty usurper who had only pretended loyalty for his whole life while waiting his chance She uses Thomas More, who probably got his information from John Morton who is recorded as hating Richard, as her main and most frequently referenced source His unfinished work is widely acknowledged to be biased and More was only 5 at the time of Richard s death so could hardly give first hand evidence.I could go on and on with examples of evidence that are presented in such a way that only one conclusion could possibly be reached If I didn t have prior knowledge of the events and people Weir is writing about, I would be convinced This probably would have been an interesting and compelling book to read if I were not troubled by the biased presentation and half truths Ms Weir seems to see Richard through the lens of a particularly spiteful ex wife.

  10. says:

    DNF p 58I told myself that I ll read nonfiction Royal history is one of my favorite topics and this one s my first book on the matter, but this experience was an unnecessary info dump I can t properly digest.The problem, in my honest opinion, is the way these facts were presented A lot of the things I ve read could ve been inserted as footnotes.Maybe I ll give this another try one day, but I won t be wasting my time early this year on a book I was not enjoying even though the subject of The Princes in the Tower is something I grew up loving.

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