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The Princes in the Tower Paperback – July 10, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
- Katharine Galloway Garstka, Intergraph Corp., Huntsville, Ala.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Where to begin? Weir starts out by discussing the various sources of information on the controversy. Many of these sources weren't contemporary at all, being written after Henry VII had taken the throne. The one she bases most of her theories on, an unfinished history by Sir Thomas More, she claims is contemporary. However, Thomas was eight years old at the time these events occurred and didn't start his book until much later. He supposedly had access to many people "in the know," and Weir takes this as proof that what he says is, for the most part, accurate. What she fails to take into account, however, is More's history was written during the Tudor reign, when it wasn't exactly safe to be extolling Richard's virtues. Sure, More's sources may have been there, but do you really think they're going to risk their head by telling the truth?Read more ›
Weir constantly contradicts herself and her logic is often bizarre. On a general level, she tries to argue that the facts surrounding the death of the princes were at one and the same time, a closely guarded secret and known to everyone in Europe, depending on which is most convenient to her at any given point. At a more detailed level:
She spends several pages arguing that the story that Edward IV's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was bigamous is completely ludicrous and that no contemporary writer believed it. She then describes it as "well-conceived and plausible".
Citing More, she claims that Margaret Beaufort was able to prove to Elizabeth Woodville that her sons (the princes in the tower) were dead. Later, Weir claims that Henry VII (Beaufort's son) didn't know whether or not they were dead. What happened to the evidence provided to Woodville?
Weir claims that Louis XI knew that Richard III murdered the princes, in spite of the fact that she believes they were alive when Louis died.
She claims that More got otherwise unknown information from knowledgeable people of his acquaintance. If it is obvious to Weir that these people might have known something, wouldn't it have been even more obvious to Henry VII and his advisors? Wouldn't he have questioned them?Read more ›
Weir questions her own sources and then uses them to prove her point the "Richard did it". An earthshattering conclusion? Not by any means, but the way she gets there is somewhat lazy and ignores some pretty decent scholarship on the subject. Most of what we "know" about RIII comes from Shakespeare's play, which is based on More. Weir didn't seem to stray any further than Shakespeare (the Oliver Stone of the Elizabethian age) to come to her conclusion.
Again, not her best work. She does a much better job with the Tudors.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm on the side of the scholars who see the murders of the princes differently.Published 6 hours ago by pirkko Dyer
For the love of pickled peppers, who in blazes had the idea of faux hand-writing the "simple genealogy" at the rear of the book? Read morePublished 6 days ago by Irving Warner
Almost finished reading it. Alison Weir does an amazing job of bringing the history of the English monarchy to life. I've enjoyed all her booksPublished 1 month ago by Barbara Huguenin
Alison Weir shoots herself in the foot pretty early on in the book, and she has a tendency to trust unreliable sources (she quotes heavily from Thomas More, who wrote his account... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Megan Clauhs
Although an American baseball analogy may not be appropriate for describing this stellar writer of English Tudor-era history, I'm sticking with it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mary Malloy