The Princes in the Tower
4 journalers for this copy...
from the back cover:
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, English historian Alison Weir reconstructs the entire chain of events leading to the double murder.
I think that this is remarkable, that so much history can be put together accurately enough that science later bears it out. Richard had scoliosis, which is what I suspected from the "one shoulder higher than the other" description. He wasn't a hunchback or ugly.
What is ugly is the constant treachery that went on as royals competed for the crown. Like a game of football where everyone has a sharp knife, wears a disguise and the crown is the football. Losers are beheaded. Their fans are stripped of worldly goods and jobs, their family is ostracized and perhaps imprisoned without trial for life. Oh so ugly! England seems so tame now by comparison; no one is getting burned at the stake or beheaded anymore. As far as I know the royals are fairly well behaved now, but what a tradition they come from! It would be like if William came to the throne, Harry killed him and had his little guy put in the Tower of London, took all of Kate's wealth and sent her to a monastery. Who wears the crown now, heh, heh, heh! What I did like is that the royals at that time fought their own battles. Richard III died on the battlefield but he was the last one, I guess as civilization advanced the rulers of lands starting considering their own persons too valuable to risk being in a battle. Can't we put Obama on a battlefield somewhere? Or perhaps a cage fight with his favorite enemy?
This book is fascinating and well written.
Weir reaches the conclusion that I expected her to reach, so I'm not sure what was so groundbreaking about her contribution to this long-debated "mystery."
I agree with BooksandMusic about it being fascinating that science supports details from historical record, and also about how colorful and murderous was once the battle for the throne.
I've reserved this book for a nonfiction VBB. Thanks!