This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise, This fortress built by Nature for herself Against infection and the hand of war, This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall Or as a moat defensive to a house, Against the envy of less happier lands,-- This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England. ~~William Shakespeare, Richard III

Thursday, December 3, 2009

If You're Interested in Reading About Richard III...

I saw a post like this at Passages to the Past and discussing different books on Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth I. I thought it was a wonderful idea that really helps people find books on a subject they're interested in reading. I thought I'd do a similar post (and I'm planning on doing several of these actually).

I decided to list some books about Richard III. I know when I became interested in reading about Richard I was very appreciative of everyone who suggested different books that I might find interesting; there are certainly a lot of them out there! Most of these will be historical fiction though I will list a some good non-fiction choices. Most of these will also probably be much more pro-Richard as I tend to lean that way. This is by no means the only books out there on Richard. There are thousands. I just chose to mention some of the ones that I feel are exceptional or have been recommended.

The Sunne in Splendour, Sharon Kay Penman

Probably my favorite (and in my opinion the BEST) book on Richard III. Its a big book so be prepared!

A Rose for the Crown, Anne Easter Smith

The first in a York trilogy, this story is about Richard, though told mainly through the eyes of one of his mistresses. In my opinion, this is the best of the trilogy.

The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey

A modern look at Richard through the eyes of a detective who sets out to solve the mystery surrounding Richard and the deaths of his nephews. I really, really enjoyed this one.

The Court of the Midnight King, Freda Warrington

Another look at Richard through the eyes of two people close to him. The very unexpected ending may throw you for a loop!

The Reluctant Queen, Jean Plaidy

This is the story of Anne Neville, Richard's wife. I thought this was a very good book and I liked seeing Richard through his wife's eyes.

The Tudor Rose, Margaret Campbell Barnes

This is really the story of Elizabeth of York, Edward IV's oldest daughter, Richard's niece but Richard plays a roll in this one up until his death. Richard fans beware, he is not painted in the best light here.

The White Queen, Philippa Gregory

The latest by Gregory is about Elizabeth Woodville and is the first in a trilogy. Richard doesn't come across pure as the driven snow but he's not a horrible villain either. I think the next book may feature much more of him in it.

The Seventh Son, Reay Tannahill

This version of Richard's life comes very highly recommended but I have yet to get my little hands on it. I've been told it has a very realistic and believable Richard.

The Rose of York Trilogy, Sandra Worth

I haven't been able to get any of these books either but I am still trying. There are mixed reviews on these though so make your own decision if you want to try them out.

We Speak No Treason Series, Rosemary Hawley Jarman

A series about Richard with either 3 or 4 books, depending on if you get the first two combined into one volume. I haven't been able to find these yet either but I have heard very good things about them.

The Lodestar, Pamela Belle

Another book that comes highly recommended and is Richard's story told through the eyes of a member of his household.

Richard III and the Princes in the Tower, A.J. Pollard

A non-fiction look at Richard and his part in the disappearance of his nephews. I have not read this one yet but I have seen recommendations for it.

Richard III, Charles Ross

Another non-fiction that I have not read but has been recommended.

Royal Blood, Bertram Fields

Written by a US attorney, this non-fiction really looks into the disappearance of the princes. This is one that I really want to read.

Richard III: The Maligned King, Annette Carson

This is another I'd like to get my hands on and pour through. The author raises some interesting and controversial questions.


  1. I have either read most of those or have them -- but I see a couple I haven't seen before -- so thanks! Will have to see if I can find them! By the way, it was Anne Easter Smith's "A Rose for the Crown" which got me hooked on Richard III!

  2. Yes, this is really interesting.Arleigh from and Amy from Passages To The Past( both my blog colleagues on HFBRT)are the ones to have started this on their respective blogs-and will be continuing to showcase these. Arleigh started hers on Elizabeth I and Amy on Queen Victoria. They got a huge response because readers loved reading about this, so they will be posting a lot about this. They have a huge following, so this is where you saw this first.

  3. Thank you, Ms. Lucy! I knew it was blogs I followed.

  4. Great post! I've read The Sunne in Splendour, Daughter of Time and The White Queen. A Rose for the Crown is one of my Royal Mistress Challenge books. The other one I'd like to read is The Seventh Son.
    Off to check out the Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria posts now!

  5. I'm so burned out on Wars of the Roses and Richard III, but I have to say that my favorite is The Goldsmith's Wife by Jean Plaidy.

    My character highlight posts are on Eleanor of Aquitaine:

    and Elizabeth I:

    I really should do another one soon!

  6. I really love reading about Richard III, but I do try to space them out a bit so that I don't burn out on them, but also because there are very definitely divided opinions about him out there!

  7. I really loved Royal Blood by Bertram Fields and Annette Carson's Richard III: The Maligned King (you can see my review on and on my blog). I'd also like to suggest Richard III and the Murder in the Tower by Peter A. Hancock. This is about Hastings summary execution on Friday, June 13, 1483. I also reviewed this book on and on my blog.

    I agree with you about Sunne in Splendour. Not only is it brilliant, but it's the book that made me a Ricardian and gave me a second career, inspiring me to write a fiction about Richard III.

    Joan Szechtman
    This Time, ISBN-13: 978-0-9824493-0-1

  8. I sent you an e-mail about a Richard III book -- not sure if you received it...