Richard III: England's Black Legend, Desmond Seward
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Richard III: England's Black Legend
By Desmond Seward
Here is the Propagandist view of Richard III as the 'evil King' giving you the opposite viewpoint for comparison. Here are some of the reviews of this version taken from Goodreads.com and the final choice will be yours...
Seward would do anything just to demonstrate Richard was indeed the Shakespearean monster of the tradition. The point here is not whether or not he murdered the princes in the tower. The point is: even if he did it (I'm personally sure he didn't tough) is it enough to mark him as evil, to make him the symbol of deprivation and cruelty?
The answer to me is: no. Henry IV killed Richard II, Edward IV killed Henry VI (and it was HIS will, the king's will, not Richard's to send Henry to his death, whatever Mr. Seward has to say), Queen Isabella killed Edward II, Henry VII and Henry VII killed the WHOLE Plantagenet dynasty, even women and illegitimate sons, and Henry VIII also killed two of his wives. But they are not considered evil...
The author could have judged Richard guilty of the nephews' murder and yet write a genuine account, relying on reliable sources. But he chooses to base his slanders on Thomas More's book, a posthumous work, incomplete, biased, full of historical errors, written by a man who might be a saint, but was not omnipotent. He was 8 years old when Richard died, and based his account on Bishop Morton's tales, the latter being one of Richard's worst enemies.
If you want to know the REAL Richard, I suggest the masterpiece by Paul Murray Kendall Richard III
I got no further than the introduction and sent the book back to the library. It was nothing but a Richard III bashing.
I sped-read through this book. His bias on Richard III is evident from the beginning and his evidence is bare. He outright says he does not like Richard III, and yet chose to write this book anyway, so he does not portray him in a good light. I was disappointed with the book overall. Not really recommending this one to be read. IF there was a current Tudor propagandist, Seward would more than fill those shoes.