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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-07-24 00:00
Royal Blood: Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes
Royal Blood: Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes - Bertram Fields Spoiler Alert***

The fate of the Princes in the Tower has long been one that has drawn speculation and debate. Many historians have laid the blame at their Uncle's feet, claiming that he murdered them in order to claim the throne for himself, and thereby removing any claim that they would have. Bertram Fields goes through all claims, and documents that he could to look at all possibilities and theories that surround their mysterious disappearance. He takes each theory and fleshes them out.

While reading through reviews, I was almost put off from reading this book, but upon the recommendation of others I decided to give it a go. I am really glad I did. While to some, the intricate details can be a put off, to many, you cannot draw a conclusion one way or the other without all the details. No lawyer goes to trial without as many of the details as he can get, witnesses and so forth, in order to make his case. This book is no different. It takes on the case from each side, and draws as many inferences as it can, while also destroying many of the conclusions that those who have written before have drawn.

I also have to admit that I laughed each time he called out Alison Weir on her "conclusions." As she claims to "know what was on Richard's mind" when she writes, she declared in her book, "The Princes In The Tower" that she has solved the mystery. Fields brings back the case and shows that it is still as open as it was before. Without any DNA testing and conclusive proof, we are never going to know. However, given that it is 500 years after the fact, we can never have the conclusive proof, without finding a diary that was written to where the author confesses to the deed. Bertram Fields does a wonderful job in bringing the case around and showing all sides, those involved, and who COULD have had a motive to commit the deed. In my opinion, the only person he did not accuse which would have had a motive, would be Lady Stanley. BUT, he draws the case out and fleshes it out in a way that historians can look at it, and begin anew the case of the missing princes. Since so much time has gone by we may never have a definite answer, but the case against Richard has grown considerably weaker, and new suspects emerge with their own possibilities.

I think this book was a great read, and highly recommend it to anyone wishing to learn more about this case and also as a great starting point to anyone who might want begin learning about this fascinating period in history.
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review 2014-05-06 16:11
Royal Blood: King Richard Iii And The Mystery Of The Princes - Bertram Fields

So I haven't brought my self a book for a while. Well I have but not a paper one. I love a bit of history and why not one of the most “Strangest moments in history” The disappearance of the princes in the tower. For years this has fascinated people because its one of those “Who did it??”


Was it king Richard the III??? or was it some one completely Different who wanted To put Henry Tudor on the throne??


I have to say books like this fascinate Me. I've been to London tower and badly want to go again.


But this book didn't quite do it for me, I struggled a lot with it. And found myself at time's feeling as If I was in a boring history lesson. Though there was some really good points to be made. And it did Really throw out some really good logics to what could of happen to the Princes. I felt this book was all over the places at times. But mostly it leaned towards supporting Richards innocence.


It inspired me to want to go to to the towers of London Again but it didn't once shed light on what happen to the princes in the Tower.

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review 2012-07-30 00:00
Royal Blood: Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes - Bertram Fields This book was impossible to put down! Fields does an excellent job of analyzing the difficult questions relating to Richard III and the princes in the tower. He expertly separates the issues of Richard's motivations for taking the throne, whether or not the princes were really killed, and if they were who did it. He quotes several sources and discusses their reliability and views the potential truths with a lawyer's eye. His research includes contemporary sources, current writers, and everyone in between. Though I enjoyed the level of detail and discussion in this book, I can understand how others may feel inundated with facts and theories. Certainly if you are a Plantagenat fan you will enjoy this book. Not that Fields attempts to exonerate Richard III. Taking his balanced and thorough approach, he can only say that we don't know if Richard killed his nephews and that there are other suspects. I enjoyed the chapter where he analyzed the motives and opportunities of these other suspects and could have had more on this particular topic. Unlike other authors, Fields does not pretend that he can with certaintly solve this 500+ year old murder/disappearance.

Others have commented on Fields' attacks on Weir throughout the book. I will agree that at times it seems that his driving force shifts from solving a mystery to proving Weir wrong. Knowing that Fields is a lawyer, I couldn't help at times envisioning him as the prosecuting attorney and Weir as the defense. On the other hand, I appreciated knowing that Weir does not take the unbiased, educated approach to each of her topics since I have read several of her books. I do think though that attacking her with such drama showed a lack of professionalism on Fields' part when it is unnecessary since he does a fabulous job of making his case without it.

I enjoyed how Fields looked at the case from many perspectives - did Richard have the motive, opportunity, & character to kill the princes, and so forth. He never assumes that they died at any certain time or that they were even murdered. He also does not assume that the Richard portrayed by Tudor historians is fully accurate, though he does use those sources to attempt to determine Richard's character along with other sources. In the end, we still don't know if those little skeletons were really a boy king and his brother or if their uncle was a ruthless killer. I will chose to believe that Richard was the loyal, accomplished King who trusted the wrong people and went to his death too soon, but Fields writes his analysis in a way that you are free to believe either one.
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review 2011-01-17 00:00
Royal Blood: Richard Iii And The Mystery Of The Princes - Bertram Fields Okay - there are books at each of my destinations, all hovering around the mid-way point. However I have been wined and dined today in glorious style (can't remember the last time moussaka was on my plate) so I shall pick up a fancy, which brings me to this point...Now is the winter of our discontent/Made glorious summer by this sun of York.maybe, maybe not; could be, couldn't possibly be. urgh. and the lawyer hyperbole - no thankee, not now, maybe later
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review 2009-05-11 00:00
Royal Blood: King Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes - Bertram Fields A very interesting concept, an attorney preparing a defense of Richard III and seeing the mystery of "who done them in" from his point of view. Fields takes the reader through the history of the Wars of the Roses, Edward IV, Richard III and those hated Woodvilles as he analyses the pros and cons of the histories written by the contemporaries, along with those during the reign of Henry VII. There's enough detail on the book from other reviewers that I needn't rehash it again. I found Field's arguments fascinating and compelling, although we still don't know the answer and probably never will unless 1) QE2 allows DNA testing on the bones alleged to be that of the young Princes or 2) someone invents a time machine. Recommended for those interested in the period and very readable for a non-fiction book. And yes, both Weir and Shakespeare get a few good swipes from the author for their prejudicial takes on Richard's guilt.
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