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Richard III (Routledge Historical Biographies) Paperback – December 19, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0415462815 ISBN-10: 0415462819 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Routledge Historical Biographies (Book 10)
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (December 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415462819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415462815
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,622,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'...this will I think now become the biography of choice on Richard and justifiably so.'Richard Brown, The Historical Association

'Many writers aspire to be impartial but at every twist and turn of Richard's story traditionalists twist the dagger. This does not happen here. Hipshon rejects Charles Ross' view that he was a child of his time but treats Richard as a human being.' –– Wendy Moorhen, The Ricardian

'This new biography is a commendable addition to the studies of King Richard. The author is not intentionally a partisan in the Ricardian debate, but rather moves steadily through Richard's life, explaining in considerable detail the context of events and the basis for conclusions reached ... The final chapter, on Richard's posthumous reputation, provides good insight into centuries of disagreement about King Richard ... Recommended.' - CHOICE

The book is written in an accessible style and...delivers a moderate depiction of the king, neither exonerating or vilifying him.' - James Ross, The Historian


About the Author

David Hipshon is Assistant Head at St James Independent School in Ashford, Surrey. He has published articles in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, BBC History and History
, and gives many public lectures on Medieval themes.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Beth E. Williams VINE VOICE on May 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr Hipshon is a fine historian if a bit timid regarding his subject. I truly suspect that the author has come to some intriguing conclusions, in the privacy of his own research and analysis, but does not dare put them to paper in the fullness of his abilities. Now why, you might ask, would a reputable historian do this? One who has obviously labored long and hard and appears to have a pronounced measure of integrity and energy with which to approach this quagmire afresh? (ie. the War of the Roses, WOTR)

The easy answer is that traditional academic biases (see his excellent closing chapter, "Posthumous Reputation") would never permit even a microscopic chance that Richard III was anything but the Lord Voldemort of the 15th century (hmmm, and the sour Henry Tudor a poor substitute for the engaging, personally courageous Harry Potter to boot

The more complicated answer is that Dr Hipshon is attempting to take the middle ground on both the conflict known as WOTR as well as Richard III. The author, who writes in a strong, clear manner, much appreciated by this reviewer, is often at pains to exonerate this man - and then, in the next breath, to take it all back - suddenly aware that the "experts who matter" might construe this effort as hedging by him - and he will could be smeared as - gasp, a Ricardian! (See pg.235 for a fine example of this scholarly intolerance and the mischief it has caused).

This reader would ask that the author just go ahead, actually say what he really thinks, share what he has learned after so many years of studying this man, his family, and his culture - just ignore the elitists, or better yet, call them out for what anyone familiar with the material will tell you is a numbing excess of hypocrisy.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Galla on August 3, 2011
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It would be quite a task to write a review more thorough or thoughtful than the one Beth Williams has written. I concur with her completely, especially regarding Hipshon's stance on the matter of the princes. I've read other works by Hipshon and he is a careful historian. This biography of Richard III is in a like vein, measured and objective, and the chapter on the historiography of Richard is outstanding. This is a worthwhile book for serious historians as well as others who are interested in the War of Roses in general and Richard III in particular.
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I believe this to be the most impartial biography written to date. Granted, I haven't read them all.
David Hipshon rescues Richard III from the Tudor fabrications as well as the romanticized view of some overly enthusiastic Ricardians. I admit to being completely in sympathy with the Richard III Society, but the view I most see from their camp is not entirely human. Richard III was no saint. Neither was he a monster. He was a man in a difficult situation that we, from this distance, are incapable of judging. So many events are so shrouded in mystery that they cannot be uncovered to the light of day. David Hipshon does a credible job of stating facts and then theorizing based on those facts. No doubt he is closely correct in some, far off base in others. No one can know for certain. I believe if it weren't for the mystery of what happened to princes in the tower, there wouldn't be so much passion invested in the controversy.
I seem to have fallen into my own trap of not just reviewing the book, but stating my own beliefs. Oh, well.
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