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The Princes in the Tower

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eBook published by Ballantine Books (Random House Publishing Group)

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Despite five centuries of investigation by historians, the sinister deaths of the boy king Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York, remain two of the most fascinating murder mysteries in English history. Did Richard III really kill “the Princes in the Tower,” as is commonly believed, or was the murderer someone else entirely? Carefully examining every shred of contemporary evidence as well as dozens of modern accounts, Alison Weir reconstructs the entire chain of events leading to the double murder. We are witnesses to the rivalry, ambition, intrigue, and struggle for power that culminated in the imprisonment of the princes and the hushed-up murders that secured Richard’s claim to the throne as Richard III. A masterpiece of historical research and a riveting story of conspiracy and deception, The Princes in the Tower at last provides a solution to this age-old puzzle.

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Despite five centuries of investigation by historians, the sinister deaths of the boy king Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York, remain two of the most fascinating murder mysteries in English history. Did Richard III really kill “the Princes in the Tower,” as is commonly believed, or was the murderer someone else entirely? Carefully examining every shred of contemporary evidence as well as dozens of modern accounts, Alison Weir reconstructs the entire chain of events leading to the double murder. We are witnesses to the rivalry, ambition, intrigue, and struggle for power that culminated in the imprisonment of the princes and the hushed-up murders that secured Richard’s claim to the throne as Richard III. A masterpiece of historical research and a riveting story of conspiracy and deception, The Princes in the Tower at last provides a solution to this age-old puzzle.

Look for special features inside.
Join the Circle for author chats and more.
RandomHouseReadersCircle.com

Product Details
eBook (287 pages)
Published: September 21, 2011
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780307806840
Other books byAlison Weir
  • Elizabeth of York

    Elizabeth of York
    The First Tudor Queen
    Bestselling historian Alison Weir tells the poignant, suspenseful and sometimes tragic story of Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the Yorkist King Edward IV and sister of the Princes in the Tower, a woman whose life was inextricably caught up in the turmoil of the Wars of the Roses and the establishment of the usurping Tudor dynasty. She was the wife of Henry VII and mother of Henry VIII. Elizabeth of York would have ruled England, but for the fact that she was a woman. She is one of the key figures of the Wars of the Roses and the Tudor dynasty. In youth, she was relegated from a pampered princess to a bastard fugitive under siege in sanctuary. Yet the probable murders of her brothers, the Princes in the Tower, left her heiress to the royal House of York. In 1486, to consolidate his position after overthrowing the last Yorkist King, Richard III, at the Battle of Bosworth, Henry VII, first sovereign of the House of Tudor, married Elizabeth, thus uniting the red and white roses of Lancaster and York. The marriage was successful and produced seven children, including the future Henry VIII, who was close to her. But Elizabeth is an enigma. She had schemed to marry Richard III, the man who had deposed and killed her brothers, and his councillors clearly feared her vengeance. Yet after marriage, her ambition to be queen satisfied, a different picture emerges, as she proved herself a model consort, mild, pious, generous, fruitful -- and beautiful. It has often been said that she was kept in subjection by Henry VII and her powerful mother-in-law, Margaret Beaufort, who ruled the court as a virtual queen mother; and that her husband resented having this Yorkist princess in his bed, and allowed her no power. Yet contemporary evidence suggests that this is a distorted view. In Elizabeth of York, Alison Weir builds a portrait of this beloved queen, placing her in the context of the magnificent, ceremonious, often brutal world she inhabited, and revealing the woman behind the image.

    Elizabeth of York

    Elizabeth of York
    A Tudor Queen and Her World
    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Many are familiar with the story of the much-married King Henry VIII of England and the celebrated reign of his daughter, Elizabeth I. But it is often forgotten that the life of the first Tudor queen, Elizabeth of York, Henry’s mother and Elizabeth’s grandmother, spanned one of England’s most dramatic and perilous periods. Now New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir presents the first modern biography of this extraordinary woman, whose very existence united the realm and ensured the survival of the Plantagenet bloodline.   Her birth was greeted with as much pomp and ceremony as that of a male heir. The first child of King Edward IV, Elizabeth enjoyed all the glittering trappings of royalty. But after the death of her father; the disappearance and probable murder of her brothers—the Princes in the Tower; and the usurpation of the throne by her calculating uncle Richard III, Elizabeth found her world turned upside-down: She and her siblings were declared bastards.   As Richard’s wife, Anne Neville, was dying, there were murmurs that the king sought to marry his niece Elizabeth, knowing that most people believed her to be England’s rightful queen. Weir addresses Elizabeth’s possible role in this and her covert support for Henry Tudor, the exiled pretender who defeated Richard at the Battle of Bosworth and was crowned Henry VII, first sovereign of the House of Tudor. Elizabeth’s subsequent marriage to Henry united the houses of York and Lancaster and signaled the end of the Wars of the Roses. For centuries historians have asserted that, as queen, she was kept under Henry’s firm grasp, but Weir shows that Elizabeth proved to be a model consort—pious and generous—who enjoyed the confidence of her husband, exerted a tangible and beneficial influence, and was revered by her son, the future King Henry VIII.   Drawing from a rich trove of historical records, Weir gives a long overdue and much-deserved look at this unforgettable princess whose line descends to today’s British monarch—a woman who overcame tragedy and danger to become one of England’s most beloved consorts. Praise for Elizabeth of York   “Weir tells Elizabeth’s story well. . . . She is a meticulous scholar. . . . Most important, Weir sincerely admires her subject, doing honor to an almost forgotten queen.”—The New York Times Book Review   Praise for Alison Weir’s Mary Boleyn, named one of the Best Books of the Year by The Chicago Tribune   “This nuanced, smart, and assertive biography reclaims the life of a Tudor matriarch.”—Publishers Weekly   “Weir has achieved the enviable skill of blending the necessary forensic and analytical tasks of academia with the passionate engagement that avocational history lovers crave.”—Bookreporter   “Top-notch . . . This book further proves that [Weir] is a historian of the highest caliber.”—Washington Independent Review of Books   “A refreshing change from recent books on the subject . . . If you want to learn more about this often-maligned woman of the sixteenth century, this is a must-read.”—The Free Lance–Star   “Weir’s research is always first-rate and her narratives accessible. In her latest book, the author has to navigate the historical minefields of gossip, fiction, and conjecture to finally get at the truth.”—Tucson Citizen

    Captive Queen

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    Renowned for her highly acclaimed and bestselling British histories, Alison Weir has in recent years made a major impact on the fiction scene with her novels about Queen Elizabeth and Lady Jane Grey. In this latest offering, she imagines the world of Eleanor of Aquitaine, the beautiful twelfth-century woman who was queen of France until she abandoned her royal husband for the younger man who would become king of England. In a relationship based on lust and a mutual desire for great power, Henry II and Eleanor took over the English throne in 1154, thus beginning one of the most influential reigns and tumultuous royal marriages in all of history. In this novel, Weir uses her extensive knowledge to paint a most vivid portrait of this fascinating woman.

    Innocent Traitor

    Innocent Traitor
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    I am now a condemned traitor . . . I am to die when I have hardly begun to live. Historical expertise marries page-turning fiction in Alison Weir’s enthralling debut novel, breathing new life into one of the most significant and tumultuous periods of the English monarchy. It is the story of Lady Jane Grey–“the Nine Days’ Queen”–a fifteen-year-old girl who unwittingly finds herself at the center of the religious and civil unrest that nearly toppled the fabled House of Tudor during the sixteenth century. The child of a scheming father and a ruthless mother, for whom she is merely a pawn in a dynastic game with the highest stakes, Jane Grey was born during the harrowingly turbulent period between Anne Boleyn’s beheading and the demise of Jane’s infamous great-uncle, King Henry VIII. With the premature passing of Jane’s adolescent cousin, and Henry’s successor, King Edward VI, comes a struggle for supremacy fueled by political machinations and lethal religious fervor. Unabashedly honest and exceptionally intelligent, Jane possesses a sound strength of character beyond her years that equips her to weather the vicious storm. And though she has no ambitions to rule, preferring to immerse herself in books and religious studies, she is forced to accept the crown, and by so doing sets off a firestorm of intrigue, betrayal, and tragedy. Alison Weir uses her unmatched skills as a historian to enliven the many dynamic characters of this majestic drama. Along with Lady Jane Grey, Weir vividly renders her devious parents; her much-loved nanny; the benevolent Queen Katherine Parr; Jane’s ambitious cousins; the Catholic “Bloody” Mary, who will stop at nothing to seize the throne; and the protestant and future queen Elizabeth. Readers venture inside royal drawing rooms and bedchambers to witness the power-grabbing that swirls around Lady Jane Grey from the day of her birth to her unbearably poignant death. Innocent Traitor paints a complete and compelling portrait of this captivating young woman, a faithful servant of God whose short reign and brief life would make her a legend. “An impressive debut. Weir shows skill at plotting and maintaining tension, and she is clearly going to be a major player in the . . . historical fiction game.” –The Independent “Alison Weir is one of our greatest popular historians. In her first work of fiction . . . Weir manages her heroine’s voice brilliantly, respecting the past’s distance while conjuring a dignified and fiercely modern spirit.” –London Daily Mail From the Hardcover edition.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • Modern writers on the subject of the Princes in the Tower have tended to fall into two categories: those who believe Richard III guilty of the murder of the Princes but are afraid to...

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • And if that is the case, given all the other evidence already discussed in previous chapters, then only one man could have been responsible for their deaths: Richard III.

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
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