Richard III England s Black Legend With the victory of Henry Tudor the usurping dynasty made an effort to besmirch the last Plantagenet s reputation and some historians claim that Richard s black legend is nothing than political prop

  • Title: Richard III: England's Black Legend
  • Author: Desmond Seward
  • ISBN: 9781605985756
  • Page: 485
  • Format: Hardcover
  • With the victory of Henry Tudor, the usurping dynasty made an effort to besmirch the last Plantagenet s reputation, and some historians claim that Richard s black legend is nothing than political propaganda Yet such an interpretation, as Desmond Seward shows in this powerfully argued book, suggests a refusal to face the facts of history Evenin the king s lifetimeWith the victory of Henry Tudor, the usurping dynasty made an effort to besmirch the last Plantagenet s reputation, and some historians claim that Richard s black legend is nothing than political propaganda Yet such an interpretation, as Desmond Seward shows in this powerfully argued book, suggests a refusal to face the facts of history Evenin the king s lifetime there were rumors about his involvement in the murders of Henry VI and of his nephews, the Princes in the Tower, while his reign was considered by many to be a nightmare, not least for the king himself The real Richard III was both a chilling and compelling monarch, a peculiarly grim young English precursor of Machiavelli s Prince Sweeping aside sentimental fantasy, this is a colorful, authoritative biography that offers a definitive picture of both the age and the man.

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      Published :2019-01-14T15:06:13+00:00

    One thought on “Richard III: England's Black Legend”

    1. Thought it was a wee bit biased - Most of Seward's theories were based on Sir Thomas More's history of Richard III. More was so incredibly biased himself, I don't see how you could possible use him as an objective source. Seward seems to think that More was beyond reproach because he had been made a Saint. But someone who was a fanatic at rooting out and burning heretics cannot be classed as a saint and therefore a tad hypocritical when denouncing Richard III as a murderer. Was Richard III as bl [...]

    2. Seward would do anything just to demonstrate Richard was indeed the Shakesperian monster of the tradition.The point here is not whether or not he murdered the princes in the tower. The point is: even if he did it (I'm personally sure he didn't tough) is it enough to mark him as evil, to make him the symbol of depravation and cruelty? The answer to me is: no. Henry IV killed Richard II, Edward IV killed Henry VI (and it was HIS will, the king's will, not Richard's to send Henry to his death, what [...]

    3. I sped-read through this book. His bias on Richard III is evident from the beginning and his evidence is bare. He outright says he does not like Richard III, and yet chose to write this book anyway, so he does not portray him in a good light. I was disappointed with the book overall. Not really recommending this one to be read. IF there was a current Tudor propagandist, Seward would more than fill those shoes. Quite a disappointing read

    4. Seward manages to make Richard pathetic as much as evil. Paranoid, lonely, guilt-ridden, desperate for approval. I havent read enough about Richard III to judge his arguments about his guilt. I hadn't even realized there was a controversy so I guess the negative one is the one that has taken root in popular opinion (of course the "black prince" nickname has sort of guaranteed this). I think it would be interesting to now read a biography by someone who doesn't believe he was responsible for the [...]

    5. Interesting but intense. I needed to know more about the other important characters that kept popping into this story. Is this the right perspective of Richard III? Was he guilty of murdering the princes in the tower? He had lived so much in his short life. Can't get over he was only 32 when he died at Bosworth. Perhaps the secret is to know more about St Thomas More, on whom the author relies so much.

    6. This historical biography about Richard III was an interesting read offering some insight into a power driven man who murdered family members so he could be king. Small in stature with a withered arm and crooked back he was driven to gain power in any way he could. Politics in those days were lethal.

    7. This book was extremely biased towards the "evil" Richard III, in my opinion, although it is well researched and generally factual. The part that killed it for me was the epilogue, where the author states, "e White Legend continues to appeal to every Anglo-Saxon lover of a lost cause and, in particular, to lady novelists." Sexist much?!

    8. Seward has a frustrating style of writing, biased in perspective, and unoriginal in research. His depiction of King Richard may very well be accurate, but he doesn't examine any opposing viewpoints.

    9. I got no further than the introduction and sent the book back to the library. It was nothing but a Richard III bashing.

    10. This book is a pleasure to read despite the fact that the author expresses his bias pretty openly.  On the other hand, maybe part of the pleasure of reading this book does result from the way that the author refers to the various servitors of Richard III as his henchmen, as there is something noble about being open and up front with your biases and then still showing mastery of the relevant sources to do it.  As someone who has a fair amount of interest in the history of the Plantagenets and T [...]

    11. "The reign which now opened to be the unhappiest in English history. The black legend had begun before the King even ascended the throne. For the rest of his short life he was to be a byword, inspiring more dread and terror than any other monarch before or since." Very readable history of Richard Gloucester's rise and fall. Desmond Seward captures the violence of England during this time period. He details the personalities as well as brutality of the times. His descriptive prose gives key playe [...]

    12. I know there are defenders of England's King Richard III, but it is hard to see why! This evil man (truly with a deformed back as Shakespeare portrayed and as proven by the recent discovery of his skeleton) was not content to be the "Lord Protector" power behind the throne of the young King Edward V. Instead he deposed the young monarch and his brother and took the throne for himself in essentially a coup. The imprisoned young Edward V and his brother were locked up in the Tower of London and so [...]

    13. I read this book after reading The King's Grave by Philippa Langley and Michael Jones, which was both a history of Richard III and the discovery of his bones. It was an interesting contrast between the two, as Langley is a member of the Richard III Society, which does not see Richard as the "Black Legend," whereas Seward, self-admittedly, is firmly in the camp that sees him as just that.For a general look at the life and times of Richard III, this is a great book. Seward provides plenty of detai [...]

    14. The copy I read was published in 1983. The copy here was 2014, so I'm assuming updated. The 1983 version says that Richard's bones were throne into the river Soar during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. (I was reading this week that the researcher at Leicester University was so desperate for the bones under the car park to be Richard's he ignored certain facts. Hm I wonder. By the way, it wasn't a car park but the playground of the school I attended in Leicester. I played on the bones of Rich [...]

    15. One annoying thing kept this book from earning an additional rating star, and it had nothing to do with the book's contents nor the author's presentation. The font style and the line spacing gave a compressed feeling to every page and made it hard to read. Seward tends to give lots of details about the personages connected to Richard, and the layout did nothing to alleviate what might be regarded by some readers as tedium. With that complaint aside, I will now address the book itself. I think th [...]

    16. I was very excited to read this book but u found it disappointing. The author had an agenda from the start: to prove Richard a tyrant. Many of his suppositions have no real basis. His "conclusions" are weak and highly suspect. His reliance on Thomas Moore are completely biased and not supported in the text. For example his assertion that Moore'd reputation as a scholar bar him from any scrutiny and Seward states that as a famed humanist, More would never stoop to any sort of personal attack on a [...]

    17. A fascinating book about a fascinating man.I appreciate that Seward does his best to be upfront about where he and his information are coming from and how he came to his conclusions. I am not a historian (I read this as a break from my chemistry dissertation) so I cannot comment with any authority on the accuracy of this version of Richard's life, but I found it to be engaging, believable, and well-written.

    18. I thought this book well-written. Sometimes, it is not real clear whom the author is talking about. For example, Richard III seems to be referred to by different names at different places. However, the author explains the various political controversies of the time quite well and puts them in their own context.

    19. This was a very dry read indeed. Nothing that stood out as far as information goes, a good book to add to the debate on whether Richard was the monster or the misunderstood.

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