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Royal Blood: King Richard III and the…

Royal Blood: King Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes (2000)

by Bertram Fields

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241471,983 (3.78)6
  1. 10
    The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir (Scotland)
    Scotland: Fields work is largely a discertation against Weir's book. I will leave it up to the readers on who interprets history more accurately.
  2. 11
    The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey (inge87)

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A lawyer's review of the case for and against blaming Richard III, King of England, for killing his nephews in the Tower of England. ( )
  VictoriaJZ | Jul 27, 2017 |
I found this to be a very good take on the who-killed-the-royal-princes question that still remains unsolved centuries later. As an attorney, Fields approaches the question with a clearer eye than most, laying down the motives for each proposed murderer. Like many, I feel that Richard III received a raw deal, but history's winners dictate the final version. However, the author provided me with full research, so that I wouldn't just say it was them darn Tudors.

Read the book and decide for yourself, since there will never be a conclusive answer to one of England's great mysteries. Still...those darn Tudors.

Book Season = Autumn (when the air is crisp) ( )
  Gold_Gato | Sep 16, 2013 |
A very interesting concept, an attorney preparing a defense of Richard III and seeing the mystery of "who done them in" from his point of view. Fields takes the reader through the history of the Wars of the Roses, Edward IV, Richard III and those hated Woodvilles as he analyses the pros and cons of the histories written by the contemporaries, along with those during the reign of Henry VII.

There's enough detail on the book from other reviewers that I needn't rehash it again. I found Field's arguments fascinating and compelling, although we still don't know the answer and probably never will unless 1) QE2 allows DNA testing on the bones alleged to be that of the young Princes or 2) someone invents a time machine. Recommended for those interested in the period and very readable for a non-fiction book. And yes, both Weir and Shakespeare get a few good swipes from the author for their prejudicial takes on Richard's guilt. ( )
4 vote Misfit | May 11, 2009 |
Written by an entertainment lawyer, this book provides a new look at an old mystery. Ever since I read The Daughter of Time, I've been interested in the questions surrounding the murder of the princes in the Tower, so when I saw this book in the National Portait Gallery in London, I just had to buy it. While few of the facts mentioned in the book are new, the way Fields treats the case is certainly novel. Although using our current standards of evidence to judge a 500 year old crime may strike some as excessive, Fields' approach does lay out a clear and concise case which could serve as a solid intro to the issues for a newcomer to this debate. The chapter of "what might have beens" was the most entertaining part of the book and reminded me that history is a living thing, subject to the whims of individuals. While we may never know the truth of who killed the princes, the amount of interest that this case generates even today highlights that most human of characteristics- the burning desire to know just for the sake of knowing. ( )
3 vote ForeignCircus | Oct 20, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060987383, Paperback)

Prominent entertainment attorney Bertram Fields uses his legal expertise to analyze the life and times of Richard III in Royal Blood, shining a light on that most ambiguous and important period of English history, the years of the 15th century between the War of the Roses and Richard's bloody death at Bosworth Field. Rebuking traditional historians who have immortalized Richard as the treacherous usurper--the vile mastermind behind the deaths of his brother, nephews, and friends--as well as revisionists who treat him as the courageous victim of treasonous allies and Tudor power, Fields cross-examined all the earliest accounts, including Thomas More's history (which would serve as the basis for Shakespeare's play), exposing the geographical, political, and cultural influences that have shaped previous interpretations of Richard's career.

Among the many surprises is Fields's suggestion that Richard did not commit what is widely understood to be his most atrocious crime: the murder of his nephews, the Woodville Princes. With a lawyer's zeal for establishing doubt, Fields boldly entertains several possibilities for the princes' fates, arguing that other powerful contestants for the English throne, like Richard's Tudor successor Henry VII, could have been responsible for the deaths of the boys--or that the infamous killing might not have even taken place. Fields also speculates on what might have happened had Richard not become king. Would England have remained Catholic? Could the First World War have been prevented? Such conjectures may raise an eyebrow--they are as delightfully provocative as the rest of Royal Blood. --James Highfill

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:43 -0400)

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