Richard III

Parliamentary Book Awards: Best Non-Fiction by a Parliamentarian, 2017

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781780226415

Price: £12.99

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‘Fresh, gripping and vivid’ Simon Sebag Montefiore
‘Majestically narrated’ Dan Jones
‘A portrait that chills you to the bone’ Leanda de Lisle, The Times

A dedicated brother and loyal stalwart to the Yorkist dynasty for most of his early life, Richard’s personality was forged in the tribulation of exile and the brutality of combat. An ambitious nobleman and successful general with a loyal following, he could claim to have achieved every ambition in life except one: the crown.

By stripping back the legends that surround England’s most controversial king and returning to original manuscript evidence, Chris Skidmore’s compelling biography reveals Richard III as contemporaries saw him.


Skidmore's new biography of Richard is a full and measured account of his subject ... [He] tells the story with style and the empathy of a well-trained historian ... Skidmore has given us an eminently readable account of Richard's life and reign, firmly anchored in fifteenth-century politics and culture
David Grummitt, Times Literary Supplement
A portrait that chills you to the bone ... Skidmore describes Richard's death in horrifying detail ... It marks the bloody climax to a biography in which the unfolding horror comes from the slow burn of detail drawn from manuscript sources and recent scholarship judiciously presented, and in a story well told
Leanda de Lisle, The Times
His portrayal of Richard is balanced; his narrative detailed and engaging. For those familiar with Richard's life, this will be a refreshing read; for those not, this will be an excellent introduction
Historical Novel Society
A deeply absorbing account - intelligent, forensic and thought-provoking - of one of the most dramatic, disturbed and disturbing moments in English history
Helen Castor
This first-rate book ... will be read with great profit and pleasure by fellow historians, and by all those who simply enjoy learning about dramatic episodes in the past from a fine writer
Alistair Lexden, The London Magazine
It is all but impossible to write either something fresh, or something fair, about Richard III, yet Chris Skidmore has pulled off both feats. Wide-ranging research brings out a Richard who is neither the crookbacked villain nor the victim, but a man for all political seasons, whose fall illumines his violent, complex age
Sarah Gristwood, author of <i>Game of Queens</i>
Skidmore successfully creates a balanced biography of the famously complicated last king of the Yorkist line ... [T]his carefully researched biography effectively captures Richard's turbulent reign and intense personality up to the violent end
Publishers Weekly
A bold and fresh new biography of one of the most enduringly fascinating monarchs in all of British history, steeped in the latest research and majestically narrated
Dan Jones
Richard III, of all the English monarchs, deserves a fair hearing and Chris Skidmore's meticulous account does justice to this vilified king. With forensic detail, Skidmore looks at sources as well as rumours to build a picture of the last Plantagenet monarch. What shines out from this modern biography is the author's attempt to be fair to the last English king to ride in battle, who took murderous decisions in life; but died a hero
Philippa Gregory
King Richard III is one of the most divisive figures in history, but this new biography aims to ignore the controversy and return to the facts: his personality, motivations and allegiances. How single-minded was his pursuit of power, and what role did he really play in the deaths of his young nephews?
History Revealed
Scholarly and genuinely objective ... Skidmore is adept at placing in proper perspective the dilemmas that faced Richard ... Highly readable
Andrew Roberts, Wall Street Journal
No monarch in British history excites greater curiosity ... This first-rate book of some 400 pages will be read with great profit and pleasure by fellow historians - and by all those who simply enjoy learning about dramatic episodes in the past from a fine writer
Lord Lexden, The House Magazine
A fresh, gripping and vivid portrait of a Richard III who is not just chilling, ruthless and terrifying but also a practical politician in a brutal age - a man of his time
Simon Sebag Montefiore
Thrillingly paced, meticulously researched, refreshingly free of psychological speculations, Skidmore's supremely insightful biography is a joy to read
John Guy
Exhaustively researched, scrupulously even-handed and a genuinely fresh approach to one of the most ploughed-over and controversial reigns in English history. Skidmore neatly sidesteps the by-now sterile controversy about Richard's character and draws instead on the unusually full documentation of the reign to offer a detailed and persuasive narrative of what Richard actually did - and, at least as importantly, what he was thought to have done
David Starkey
[Examines hostile indictments of Richard III] with sharp writing and a marvellously exhaustive command of contemporary documentary sources ... In the author's hands, there's no lack of thrilling details in Richard's saga ... His biography bids fair to become the definitive account for the twenty-first century
Bob Duffy, Washington Independent Review of Books