TalkRichard III

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Feb 26, 2009, 11:28 am

I am writing a research paper for my history class about Edward V. I would like to find good biographies of Richard III, Elizabeth Woodville and Richard Neville, Duke of Buckingham to round this out. The books I am using so far are:

This sun of York;: A biography of Edward IV by Mary Clive

The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir

Mystery of the Princes: An Investigation by Audrey Williamson

I know those Prince in the Tower ones are going to be biased against Richard. I was hoping there was something out there that would show some good arguments in Richards favor or good arguments againsty someone else. These have to be pretty good sources to use for my paper though. I do have to have each book cleared with my professor first. The only thing I have heard so far was that Ross (possibly Charles?) wrote a good biography of Richard. Is it favorable to him? Good may just mean thorough, but not necessarily in his corner, if you know what I mean.

Thanks so much!

Feb 26, 2009, 11:53 am

Yeah, Charles Ross is a good choice. I wouldn't look for a biography of Elizabeth Woodville; biographies on women are very scanty and usually have more information on the men, so best to just stick with those as you'll pick up everything about Elizabeth there anyway. I think Richard III: A Study in Service by Rosemary Horrox is quite good. I find that Michael Hicks' earlier works are pretty good too. He's gone a bit odd in recent years, but if you can find Richard III and His Rivals, that's a good one.

Feb 26, 2009, 12:28 pm

Excellent pro-Richard biography: Richard the Third by Paul Kendall Murray.
There is actually quite a pro-Richard movement out there. I believe it is called the Riccardo Society (or something close to that). Good luck.

Feb 26, 2009, 12:45 pm

> 3

It is, oddly enough, the Richard III Society. There's an American branch, as well.

Not a biography, per se, but interesting, is Richard III's Books, by Anne F. Sutton.

Edited: Feb 26, 2009, 3:02 pm

I also recommend Richard the Third by Paul Murray Kendall. Alison Weir savages as it does not match her view, but Kendall has a detailed afterward in which expxlians his views reagrding sources on Richard III.

Feb 26, 2009, 3:55 pm

You wrote "Richard Neville, Duke of Buckingham." Guess you mean Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham?

There's a bio of Neville by Paul Murray Kendall --- Warwick the Kingmaker. And Kendall's book The Yorkist Age has a lot of interesting info on the period.

I don't know of a bio of Buckingham. (Not enough material for one?) Richard III and Buckingham's Rebellion by Louise Gill might shed some light.

You'll find a lot of material and source suggestions on the Richard III Society web pages linked in #4.

As for Elizabeth, Geoffrey Richardson's The Popinjays might help, if you can find a copy.

Feb 26, 2009, 5:12 pm

#6 I TOTALLY meant Henry Stafford. I had read Warwick's name more recently in my Ed IV book and it just stuck in a funny way. *sigh* Stafford, truly.

I had really hoped there was a biography that would lend a bit of support in the "Buckingham may have done it" camp. I'll see if I can find that work by Gill in the university library.

I am pretty sure I can get my hands on Kendall and Ross. I'll try to read both.

#4 > Are the things available at the R III Soc. site things that I can use as source material for a research paper? I know we can't use things like encyclopedias and textbooks, so I am not positive about things that may be more opinion than scholarly. Maybe the things there are scholarly, i don't know yet! I'll look.

I do know that Weir is not a Richard fan. I expect to be able to wade through things that are biased against him and offset that with things that are not. I want to be able to explain why he is a suspect and also offer some other plausible possibilities. I know Henry Tudor and Buckingham both had "motive" and that Tyrell "confessed". I wanted to have a bit of source material to flesh out my suppositions about Buckingham especially. I thought I might throw Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort in there just for kicks. I know the arguments for their possible roles are slimmer, but I thought it would make for a better paper.

*shrug* I may be too ambitious. It is early days yet as well. i have only 2.5 pages of notes so far. I haven't even used any of my source material yet for notes, just common knowledge stuff. The paper needs to be 10-15 typed pages and isn't due until maybe mid-April. I have time to hunt up some good books to use :)

Thanks so much and any more suggestions are welcome!

Feb 27, 2009, 6:27 pm

I think you'll find some scholarly material and some transcriptions of original sources on the Society web pages. One of the goals is to assist students in doing research. The American branch also gives grants or scholarships. (Not sure if the parent Society does.) Have a look around the American branch site.

Long ago, I did a paper on the history behind Shakespeare's play, and the sources he used. I was curious about "whodunnit" and wanted an excuse to spend time "investigating." I had a wonderful time --- had to be dragged out of the library at closing each night. If I'd had to keep it to down to 15 pages I'd have been in trouble.

I never did come up with an answer to whodunnit --- I'm not at all certain that anyone did --- but I think that Richard had no credible motive to kill them and not announce that they'd died of an illness. It did him no good if they were not known to be dead. If he'd been the conniving monster he is painted, he'd have given them a lavish funeral and wept crocodile tears.

I'd say that Margaret Beaufort and her associates are good candidates. But Henry wanted to find out "the depth of my peril" (from memory, so may not be the exact quote) when pretenders popped up. Seems he wasn't certain that the boys were dead. Perhaps his momma's minions reported back that they'd weighted them down & dumped them in the Thames. But a few years later along came "Perkin," being recognized as Richard IV all over the place. Were the boys really in the Thames, or might the designated killers have lied to get their reward? What a dilemma for Henry!

Feb 28, 2009, 8:28 pm

Feb 28, 2009, 8:49 pm

It is an amazingly facinating story. I wish I could travel through time and find out what went on. Not even to change things, just as an observer. I'll be going to the university library on Monday and seeing what I can check out. I am new to campus life and have never used the library there before. So, it will be a cool experience whether they have what I want or not.

I do find the Tyrell family angle interesting. It shows that there is a chance the boys weren't killed at all and makes Perkin look better as Richard and not an imposter. Makes me curious what may have eventually become of Edward if he survived his stay in London.

Mar 23, 2009, 6:53 pm

There's no biography of Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, but Carole Rawcliffe's book on the Stafford family, The Staffords, contains useful material on him. So does Barbara Harris's biography of the third Duke of Buckingham, Edward Stafford.

There are several biographies of Elizabeth Woodville, the most recent ones by David Baldwin and Arlene Okerlund. There's an older one by David MacGibbon.

For Richard III, you might also want to try A. J. Pollard's Richard III and the Princes in the Tower.