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Check It Out: No bones about these Richard III titles

With the recent discovery of Richard III’s long-lost burial ground in Leicester, England, interest in the king and the mystery surrounding the fate of his nephews has never been higher. When young Edward V and Richard, Duke of York, disappeared after being taken to the Tower, many believed Richard had them done away with so he could take the crown for himself. Brush up on the details of Richard III’s controversial life with some of these titles:

Josephine Tey’s “The Daughter of Time” is the classic detective story that started the modern obsession with Richard III. After an injury, Scotland Yard detective Alan Grant is bored and bedridden. To pass the time, he examines the case of Richard III and his nephews. Through her fictional detective, Tey is able to present both sides of the story in a compelling way.

Paul Murray Kendall’s “Richard the Third” is a sterling biography of the controversial monarch, and a wonderful introduction for someone who is unfamiliar with the king. Kendall consults sources from Richard’s own time in order to present an accurate account of how his contemporaries felt about him.

“The Princes in the Tower,” by historian Alison Weir, takes a sharp and critical look at the data surrounding the case. Even though more than 500 years have passed, Weir makes a convincing argument for her interpretation of centuries-old evidence.


Bertram Fields, a prominent American lawyer, takes a look at the evidence from a legal perspective in “Royal Blood: Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes.” Drawing on his years of expertise in the courtroom, Fields makes a logical argument for Richard’s innocence. He presents several other plausible theories and discusses the probability of each one. Perhaps the most interesting part of the book is when Fields speculates on what might have happened not only to England but the entire world if Richard III had not died at Bosworth Field.

“The Kingmaker’s Daughter,” by Philippa Gregory, looks at Richard III from the perspective of his wife, Anne Neville. Anne was the daughter of the most influential man in England, the Earl of Warwick, known as the Kingmaker for his ability to raise men to the throne. When the Lancasters fall out of favor, the Yorks take their place, and Anne is married to her true love, Richard, brother to the new King Edward.

“To the Tower Born,” by Robin Maxwell, is told by Nell Caxton, daughter to William Caxton, the first Englishman to print books. Nell is friends with Princess Elizabeth, sister to the princes and niece to King Richard. Maxwell presents her theory of what happened to the young boys in this fun fictional tale with an interesting twist.

It is always amazing when history comes alive right before our eyes, and with some of the books available at the Newport Beach Public Library, we are able to have a deeper understanding of a man who lived and died centuries ago but is still in the news today.


CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at For more information on the Central Library or any of the branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.