Notoriously immortalied by Shakespeare and historians, he is history’s most infamous royal villian: Richard III, king of England from 1483 to 1485. Crazed with power and paranoia, he is generally supposed to have killed the youthful Prince of Wales and the aged Henry VI, drowned his brother in a vat of wine, poisoned his wife, and, worst of all, murdered his two young nephews, the older of whom was the rightful king — a reign of terror ending only with his own cowardly death on the blood-soaked field of battle.
But is all this true? Modern revisionists, citing the unreliability of Shakespeare’s sources and the political agenda of historians in Richard’s own day, have offered a far different portrait. A brave and valiant soldier, a loyal brother, and an intelligent, able king popular with his subjects and defeated only through treachery, their Richard is the victim of a deliberate campaign of slander devised by his Tudor successors to the throne.
In this comprehensive, meticulously researched book, renowned litigator Bertram Fields outlines and evaluates the arguments of both sides, sifting through five hundred years of legend to apply his highly successful courtroom techniques to the available evidence. Clearing away the dust of time, Fields reconstructs one of the most dramatic and turbulent episodes in history, analyzing the motives and machinations of the many players and emerging with the most definitive account yet of this most fascinating figure — and a powerful argument against acquiescing to common belief.
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