Bear with me in my obsession with English history and this title from Peter A Hancock deals with one of the more infamous Kings. Narrated by Anne Flosnik, please read on for my review of
Richard 3rd and the Murder in the Tower
Familiar with the story of the young Princes in the tower, conventional wisdom states that Richard III was the engineer of their demise. Hancock however, finds that the clear evidence that could definitively state that Richard, commonly known as the hunchbacked tyrant from Shakespeare was the culprit. Instead, Hancock takes us on a twisty (and the Yorks, Tudors and Plantagenets were all twisty) tale of a certain death laid at his feet: that of Lord Hastings: executed on Tower Green in 1483. How could Richard, with eyes on the throne, be driven to such an act, and ignore those around him who cautioned restraint?
Non-fiction, particularly history can often feel as if it is little more than a recitation of facts and events, with only the most skilled bringing those two elements into concert to create a story that is readable, informative and engaging. What emerges from this near forensic detailing of people, locations, motivations and connections to recreate the events leading to Hastings’ execution and extrapolating his theories from there: most of which seem eminently plausible, even if the real truth is yet unknown. Clearly the power struggle was in constant flux, as everyone seemed to be jockeying for a step up or along that ladder of power, and Hancock’s clear presentation of volumes of information never felt overburdened or confusing.
Narration for this title is provided by Anne Flosnick, and while there weren’t characters portrayed per se, she did keep a sense of the intrigue and ‘behind closed door’ moments separate from the open and often showy displays from each of the people we meet. Clear and precise phrasing highlighted the text, never losing that sense of a story unfolding before you: a wonderful way to introduce the author’s work and conclusions, and never feeling as if this is ‘just another history’ lesson. A wonderful combination of events and writing that brought the late 15th century to light and encourages my digging more into the years before the Tudors.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 5 Story 4
Title: Richard III and the Murder in the Tower
Author: Peter A. Hancock
Genre: Historic Elements, Non Fiction, Pre-Tudor, Setting: Britain
Narrator: Anne Flosnik
Published by: Tantor Audio, The History Press
Published on: 29 August, 2017
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 6 Hours
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Richard III is accused of murdering his nephews—the "Princes in the Tower"—in order to usurp the throne of England. Since Tudor times he has been painted as the "black legend," the murderous uncle. However, the truth is much more complicated and interesting. Rather than looking at all the killings Richard III did not commit, this book focuses on the one judicial murder for which we know that he was responsible.
On Friday, June 13, 1483, Lord Hastings was hustled from a meeting of the Royal Council and summarily executed on Tower Green within the confines of the Tower of London.
This book solves the mystery of this precipitate and unadvised action by the then Duke of Gloucester and reveals the key role of William Catesby in Richard’s ascent to the throne of England. It explains his curious actions during that tumultuous summer of three kings and provides an explanation for the fate of the "Princes in the Tower."
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: