Z711.55 → Richard III Recommended Reads

How's that for an alliterative title, huh?

Ever since Richard III's remains were confirmed to have been found last month, I've been fascinated with finding more information about him and the times he lived in. In the weeks since, there has been quite a bit of talk about how Richard's reputation may have been borne out of fiction (as we don't have to look any further than Shakespeare himself in that regard). Countless articles have been written on him since the remains were confirmed, with more in-depth profiles coming every day. To be sure, there should be some monographs and scholarly articles released in the next year or two that will tackle new perspectives on the old monarch. But, quite frankly, public interest can be a fickle thing and what's popular now does not always translate to being popular in six months, let alone a year. And so, what follows is my list of recommended reads on the subject of Richard III. 

Richard III: a life / by David Baldwin
This biography of the monarch takes a look at Richard through his dealings with those around him in an effort to discover hints of his true personality and demeanour. The chapters are divided into signifiant life events from his birth until his death and the end of the Wars of the Roses. [find a copy at your nearest library]

Richard III and the murder in the tower / by Peter A. Hancock
This is, perhaps, what Richard is most famous for in these modern times: the mysterious murder of his young nephews. Through an examination of the execution of William, Lord Hastings, the author provides theories as to how it relates to the ultimate murder of the two young princes. This book also includes over 50 pages of appendices and transcripts of documents and letters that will surely be of interest to the history buffs among readers. [find a copy at your nearest library]

The last days of Richard III / by John Ashdown-Hill
As the title no doubt implies, this book looks at Richard III's last days of his life, but also at his reputation and treatment after death. The author not only examines Richard's actions leading up to the final battle, but also the political climate and policies. What is particularly fascinating in hindsight is the author's examination of the survival and identification of Richard III's DNA and the whereabouts of his body - in fact, Ashdown-Hill makes the (now proved correct) suggestion that it was under a parking lot in Leicester all along. [find a copy at your nearest library]

And for those who would prefer a short read ...

The battle over Richard III's bones ... and his reputation / by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie, in The Smithsonian.

{photo: Skull of Richard III. (University of Leicester/Rex Features, via AP}

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