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Book Review of The Princes in the Tower

The Princes in the Tower
The Princes in the Tower
Author: Alison Weir
Genre: History
Book Type: Paperback
deltatiger avatar reviewed on + 74 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1

In the introduction, Weir claims to be an objective historian who is merely following the trail of evidence to determine who is guilty of the killing of the Princes in the Tower. This promise should be treated much like the promise of a politician hoping to win office.

To determine the bias which pervades the book, you need look no farther than the sources she relies on. Thomas More, she claims, is an eyewitness with no reason to lie, so she accepts all the negative things he says about Richard III. Except - More was 5-7 years old when the important events in the book occurred, which is a little young to be the eyewitness of anything in particular. More was also raised by John Morton, an early and strong opponent of Richard III. Even presuming More was trying to write a genuine history of Richard III (which many historians doubt, thinking he was instead writing a morality drama), he was certainly raised in an atmosphere that was strongly negative to Richard and had plenty of opportunity and reason to think ill of him. None of this is apparently important enough to Weir to make her question his reliability as a source. Even worse, she accepts some things as facts things that More himself states are merely rumor.

There are similar problems with her other sources, but that should be enough to give you the idea of how questionable her research is.

If you are genuinely interested in the subject of the Princes in the Tower or of Richard III, you should definitely take this book with a large grain of salt.

For a more balanced perspective try A.J. Pollard's Richard III and the Princes in the Tower or Paul Murray Kendall's excellent and highly entertaining biography of Richard III. Or follow up this book with Royal Blood by Bertram Fields.