Routledge – 2010 – 296 pages
Series: Routledge Historical Biographies
Despite reigning for only a relatively short period of time, Richard III is one of England’s most controversial monarchs. His life and rule has inspired a huge amount of literature, not least Shakespeare’s great play, and controversy still surrounds his seizure of the throne in 1485, the mystery of the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, and his defeat and death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.
This new biography takes a nuanced view both of Richard III’s reign and of the controversies surrounding it, exploring them in the wider context of the period. Defining Richard’s character as central to the analysis of his actions, David Hipshon emphasises the need to separate the man himself from the caricature that has so often been painted.
Incorporating new research and previously unpublished material, this book is a must-read for all those interested both in Richard III as king, and in the development of the English monarchy and society at the end of the medieval era and the beginning of the early modern period.
'…this will I think now become the biography of choice on Richard and justifiably so.' – Richard Brown, The Historical Association
'Many writers aspire to be impartial but at every twist and turn of Richard's story traditionalists twist the dagger. This does not happen here. Hipshon rejects Charles Ross' view that he was a child of his time but treats Richard as a human being.' –– Wendy Moorhen, The Ricardian
'This new biography is a commendable addition to the studies of King Richard. The author is not intentionally a partisan in the Ricardian debate, but rather moves steadily through Richard's life, explaining in considerable detail the context of events and the basis for conclusions reached … The final chapter, on Richard's posthumous reputation, provides good insight into centuries of disagreement about King Richard … Recommended.' - CHOICE
The book is written in an accessible style and…delivers a moderate depiction of the king, neither exonerating or vilifying him.' - James Ross, The Historian
Introduction 1. The Son of York: 1452- 1461 2. Duke of Gloucester: 1461- 1469 3. Duke of Gloucester: 1469- 1471 4. Lord of the North: 1471- 1483 5. The Usurpation: 1483 6. The Reign 1: Buckingham’s Rebellion, 1483- 1484 7. The Reign 2: Governing the Realm: 1483- 1485 8. The Reign 3: The Politics of Kingship Conclusion
David Hipshon is Assistant Head at St James Independent School in Ashford, Surrey. He has published articles in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, BBC History and History
Review, and gives many public lectures on Medieval themes.