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Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth by Mike Ingram  To start with, we must discuss the books title. It is so te...

Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth by Mike Ingram Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth by Mike Ingram

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Mike Ingram

Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth


Mike Ingram

 To start with, we must discuss the books title. It is so terribly named for a book with this much information. You would expect a book of about 100 pages just on the Battle of Bosworth. In actuality, the book is almost 300 pages long and is filled with the history of not only England during the entire War of the Roses (and after), but also France, Scotland, and Brittany. Not only that, the book also does a very good job of discussing the weapons and warfare of the period mentioned. The easiest way to show this is to give a list of the book's chapters. They are:

The War of the Roses
Weapons and Warfare in the Reign of Richard III
Richard: Duke of Gloucester
Henry Tudor
France, Brittany and Henry Tudor
Richard: The King
The Battle of Bosworth Field 22 August 1485
King Henry VII

I finding the Battlefield
II Finding Richard
III Order of Battle

 We must now turn to some 'facts' and not some historical conjecture. First, Richard did not kill the 'Princes in the Tower'. There were more than a few writers at the time who detested Richard. None of these accuse Richard of the Princes' death. Second, Richard did not poison his wife Anne. This point is also brought home by the absence of accusations in the above authors. Most of the lurid stories come from after Henry Tudor is made king. Third, Richard was not 'crookbacked'. He certainly suffered from scoliosis, but no man with the body deformities he is claimed to have (again after Henry Tudor's crowning), could wield the weapons he is known to have used in various battles. I will add that the Princes did not escape the Tower, and were then raised by wolves or Irishmen (Which would be worse? This point is my own). All the other 'facts' are gone through in the book and discarded because of the light of history having been thrown on the subject.

 This book, having brought us the historical Richard, would be enough for the author to sit back and enjoy his laurels. However, he is not done by a country mile. His writing about the War of the Roses is good enough for a small book on its own. The added parts on the weapons and warfare of the age are equally excellent. 

 Now we come to the heart of the matter, the actual Battle of Bosworth. The author gives us almost an hour by hour account of the invasion of Henry Tudor, and all of the moves each side made before the battle. The strangest part of the book to someone who has read a good amount about the battle is the author's take on the Stanleys. In most every account, it is said that William and Thomas Stanley stayed aloof from Henry Tudor's forces, and that they only decided on treachery at the last act of the play. The writer shows us many accounts from the time that Richard's and Stanleys' men were already fighting each other even before the battle. This means that there was no way for Richard to be surprised at their attacking him and not Henry Tudor. This is one of many excellent historical detective points that the author makes in this work. The savage attack of Richard into the men around Henry is also shown the reader. So too, unfortunately, is the postmortem of Richard and the death of the last Plantagenet.

 The book itself is filled with illustrations from the time period and also now-a-days. From pictures of the various combatants to actual cannons used at the time, the book is rife with them. There are also several pages full of colored plates, and the actual pictures taken of Richard III's skeleton. The maps of the actual battle are also very well done. Thank you Helion & Company and Casemate Publishers for letting me review this excellent book. This book is a thorough history of the times before Richard's rule and slightly afterward.


Author: Mike Ingram
Publisher: Helion & Company
Distributor: Casemate Publishers