Tuesday, 19 February 2019

What to read to learn about the Princes in the Tower


This week’s topic in Long and Short Reviews’ blog hop was a tough one. While I write erotic romance, I don’t read a lot about it, so that was off the table. The main subject I read about is history, and my favourite era is the Wars of the Roses. So my best topic is probably Richard III and the Princes in the Tower.

It's a part of history that always fascinated me. What really happened to the Princes? Were they killed? Did they escape? Who was responsible? History, of course, is written by the winners. What if the official line wasn't actually the case?

I didn’t know much on the subject until I read Bertram Fields’ “Royal Blood”. This was the first Ricardian take on the Princes in the Tower I had ever heard of. Most historians, over the years, have followed the Tudor line and blamed Richard III for their disappearance – but what if it wasn’t him? Fields comes up with numerous suggestions, the primary one being Henry VII, who scoured the Tower immediately upon taking the throne. He seemed very sure they were dead – so did he do it?

A good background comes from “The Mythology of the Princes in the Tower” by John Ashdown-Hill, but a particularly interesting take is “The Survival of the Princes in the Tower” by Matthew Lewis. Their survival, or at least of one of them, has been discussed before since Perkin Warbeck attempted to take the throne, claiming to be Prince Richard. But Lewis suggests that the Princes never died in the Tower and were hidden away to live out full lives in hiding.

It’s unlikely we’ll ever know. The bones which were found in the Tower are highly unlikely to ever be tested for DNA. But it’s an interesting idea.

So what do you like to read?

10 comments:

  1. The princes' fate has interested me for a long time, too. If only the bones that were found in the tower would be tested for DNA. It would be nice to have answers either way.

    My post.

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    1. I'd love to know for sure, but I can't see it ever happening.

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  2. I thought it was fascinating when they found the bones in the parking lot and checked them for DNA, only to find they were Richard III. I can't imagine being buried and no one knowing where you are. Good post!

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    1. As a Ricardian that fascinated me too - it finally proved that he wasn't the hideous hunchback the Tudors claimed and just had a mild scoliosis instead.

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  3. Interesting post. I'm not very aware but will obviously have to find out more.

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  4. I have always loved that story.. heartbreaking. Have you read THE DAUGHTER IN TIME by Josephine Tey? My post is here: http://jhthomas.blogspot.com/2019/02/wednesday-weekly-blogging-what-to-read.html

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    1. No, but I'll check it out - I've heard it's very good.

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  5. I love history, but only have a brushing acquaintance with this story. I'm going to have to look into it more, because I really do love history! The first thing that popped into my head when you mentioned this was "The Man in the Iron Mask". Britain has a long, interesting history...

    I'm here: http://www.mariannearkins.com/wednesday-weekly-blogging-challenge-what-to-read-to-learn-about/

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    1. It does - my best period is the Tudors/Plantagenets but there's a lot there to study!

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