Posts Tagged ‘Richard Duke of York’


Queen by Right

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Bookworm

Queen by Right

Book Review:  Queen by Right

Anne Easter Smith, Queen by Right.  Touchstone, New York, 2011.  ISBN 9781416550471 (paperback)

The queen of the title of Anne Easter Smith’s latest novel is Cecily Neville, the mother of Edward IV and Richard III.  Many readers of historical fiction will shared the experiences of  her sons in novels, but this has been much less the case for Cecily.  And after meeting Anne Easter Smith’s Cecily I can only wonder why.

Queen by Right covers Cecily’s life from 1423, when she is eight years old, until her son Edward’s coronation in June 1461.  And while the events of the remaining 34 years of Cecily’s life would easily provide enough material for at least one other novel, I welcome her decision to limit this one to the earlier – and at least for me – less well-known period. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Battle of Wakefield Exhibition

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

Should you feel like escaping the heat of an Australian summer (not that we have noticed much summery weather so far!), why not head to Wakefield?  To commemorate the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December, Wakefield Museum is organising a “Battle of Wakefield Exhibition”.

The organisers tell us that the exhibition “looks at the lead up to this infamous battle, the characters involved and its effect on England’s history.”  They promise to excite the visitor with rare and fascinating objects.  However, the “specially commissioned comic strip of the battle” does intrigue me and I would love to find out more.

The exhibition runs from 16 October 2010 to 29 January 2011.  You can find out more here.

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Book Review: The Battle of Wakefield Revisited

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Bookworm

I have just finished reading this excellent new book by Helen Cox and would like to recommend it to everyone interested in the period.  You can read a review of it here.

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Launch of The Battle of Wakefield

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Bookworm

Helen Cox, author of The Battle of Wakefield Revisited, let us know that her book has been launched successfully.  Approx. 30 people attended the official moment, among them Peter Hammond, the Chairman of the Richard III Society; Sue Galloway, the Lord Mayor of York; Richard Watson, the Sheriff of York; Terry Suthers, the Chairman of the York Archaeological Trust and Mark Taylor, the Chairman of the Towton Battlefield Society as well as some more friends from the Towton Battlefield Society.

Obviously this was a very exciting occasion for Helen, as this is her first book that she has written on her own and the result of years of research.  Helen says that she is especially happy that it means she can “take a public stand in support of Richard, Duke of York, who usually gets such a rough ride from historians”.  The site for this rehabilitation was particularly appropriate as this was where the Battle of Wakefield effectively ended with the heads of Richard of York and his son Edmund and the Earl of Salisbury displayed on the York city walls after the battle.

For the launch Helen came kitted out with the full re-enactors necessities like a basket of crocks and 15th century goodies, swords, helmets, padded jacks, bows and arrows and sundry bits of costume as well as obviously cartons of books.

To find out more about the book have a look at the flyer Helen provided to us (here).  You can order the book from YPD Books.  I ordered it yesterday for £12.00 + £9.95 for shipping to Australia, which altogether came to approx. Aus$ 40.00.  And don’t forget to visit Helen’s website as well.

We would also like to thank Helen for providing  the photographs of this exciting occasion to us.

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The Battle of Wakefield Revisited

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Bookworm

We first heard on the Ricardian grapevine about a  new analysis the Battle of Wakefield and  a fresh perspective on Richard of York’s final battle on 30 December 1460.  The book by Helen Cox is due to be published later this month.

On her website Helen tells us that historians have for a long time tried to reason why the Duke of York would have taken on the much stronger Lancastrian forces in this battle.  Some believe that the Duke was reckless and stupid, an ageing commander past his prime who made a bad decision – or that he charged out in blind fury because the enemy had sent heralds to insult him. Others think he made a heroic but futile attempt to rescue some of his foragers who were under attack; or that he didn’t realise how big the Lancastrian army was, because many of their troops were cunningly hidden in nearby woodland, waiting to charge out and ambush him.

Helen says that she has never been convinced by these theories, which aren’t well supported by contemporary reports of the battle. So in The Battle of Wakefield Revisited she has tried to pull together and re-examine all the surviving historical and archaeological evidence relating to the encounter.  She promises us a far simpler and more plausible explanation of why the Duke of York rode out to face his enemies that day.

The book will be launched on 31 May 2010 at Mickelgate Bar in York.  Helen and her husband Mick will be there in costume to sell and sign copies.  What a pity that we won’t be able to join them!

So we contacted Helen, to find out how we would be able to get hold of copies of this fascinating new study.  She informed us that the book will be available online from York Publishing Services £12.00 sterling plus p+p (at today’s exchange rate approx. Aus $20 plus p+p).

She also told us that writing the book was a real labour of love for the past 18 months.  She is fortunate enough to live only a mile from the Duke of York’s castle at Sandal, so she regularly visits it and often thinks of him and her favourite of his sons.  And I’m sure you can all guess who that is!

Keep an eye on Helen’s website for further information and developments.

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