The Year of Three Kings 1483 Author:Giles St. Aubyn Richard III has, perhaps, the most controversial reputation of any English king. Popular belief held that by a systematic mixture of force and fraud he 'waded through slaughter to a throne.' But was he indeed responsible for the murder of his two young nephews, the legendary princes in the Tower of London, who disappeared soon after his ... more »succession? And, as contemporaries thought, did he order the poisoning of his own wife so he would be free to marry his niece? Was he really a hunchback, or was the deformity invented for him after his death, as proof of his terrible villany? Or was Richard's only crime to be on the losing side at Bosworth Field, the battle from which Henry Tudor emerged as king? And if so, was Richard the victim of one of the most venomous and aggressive smear campaigns on record?
To discover the truth, historian Giles St. Aubyn, author of the highly regarded biography, Edward VII: Prince and King, returns to the year 1483, during which three kings occupied the English throne. And the story he reveals behind the picturesquely named Wars of the Roses becomes a grim drama of family vendettas and episodes of gang warfare between the rival houses of York, and Lancaster, played out with the heraldry and pomp of sophisticated feudalism.
In this clear and careful narrative -- entirely free of the partisan positions of Richard's defenders and detractors (who included Sir Thomas More and William Shakespeare) -- we see the crucial part played by dynastic marriages, not only between those families contending for the throne, but also between powerful aristocrats and heiresses endowered by vast country estates. With Mr. St. Aubyn, we also visit the places from which Warwick the Kingmaker or Richard himself set forth to war or in which the defeated were imprisoned or sent to death..« less