Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Happiness is...

I just found a copy of Alison Weir's The Princes in the Tower for $5.86. Lovely and in pristine condition. I've been dying to get my hands on this book since finishing up The War of the Roses. Reviews suggest that Weir is very much a biased Tudor biographer and that she leaves very little doubt that Richard III was indeed the fiend that Thomas More and others portrayed him to be. I've also found Royal Blood by Bertram Fields, which, according to the reviews, is biased towards Richard III. I may pick up this book after going through Weir's findings, but the fact that I don't know much about Fields' work as a biographer is the only thing that is holding me back - he's an entertainment lawyer, it seems, and this looks like it's his frst book. The last time I purchased an allegedly historical novel by a first time author - "The Diary of Anne Boleyn" by Robin Maxwell - I found it riddled with inaccuracies and while Anne came off nearly saintly (she wasn't), the reputation of Elizabeth I took a beating - it was very hard to stomach Maxwell's thoughts on what Elizabeth's relationship with Dudley truly was like. Not for a minute could I buy it. And despite the bias in The Princes in the Tower I've read about, Weir's reputation (especially for her incredibly detailed The Six Wives of Henry VIII) speaks for itself (even if she can be a bit arrogant with her assumptions at time).

However, my favorite all-time Richard III work would have to be the novel The Sunne in Splendor by Sharon Kay Penman. Now that was a fantastic read, one that portrayed Richard in a very positive light and made his relationship with his wife, Anne, much less sinister than what later Tudor biographers would claim. I wonder if the bias everyone is talking about in Weir's book will also lead to the allegation that Richard not only murdered his nephews, but also Anne? Anyway, it's definitely a book I'm looking forward to reading and when that's done, I may request the Fields book from the library (though I did find a copy online for $4). I simply cannot wait to just kick back and read, read, read! Only two more weeks until I can do that!

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