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Richard III, the missing princes, and bones discovered in the Tower


Many books, both non-fiction and fiction, have speculated on the ‘Mystery of the Princes in the Tower’. And many people have called for re-examination of the bones that were found in the Tower of London in 1674 and assumed to be theirs.

Calls to look again at those bones have increased since the discovery of Richard III’s remains. This writer was a member of the team led by Philippa Langley that found his grave and arranged its excavation. And Richard III: The Maligned King – newly released as an eBook – was the first book Langley read that predicted the probable site where the king’s grave was found.

It was the first book to introduce readers to Richard’s proposed queen-to-be, the princess of Portugal with the flaming red hair, and offered a sensible new interpretation of Elizabeth of York’s so-called scandalous letter. It challenged many easy assumptions and produced evidence overlooked by other historians. And every subsequent reprint has updated the text with new findings by the author and other researchers.

What you seldom get – but what The Maligned King gives you – is a factual run-down of key information known and reported at the time, with Tudor embroidery stripped away. Speculation is fine, but you have to start with the contemporary record.

So when it comes to the supposed ‘bones of the princes’ you need to look at two crucial sets of contemporary reports:

(1) The context of the princes’ disappearance in the reign of Richard III.
(2) The circumstances around the bones supposed discovery two centuries later.

The Maligned King has been described as offering the most comprehensive analysis of this evidence, including scientific assessments of their disputed remains. Now this new edition brings to light another source, hitherto dismissed, which adds credibility to claims half a century earlier than 1674 that the bones of two different children were discovered inside a walled-up room at the Tower.

By Annette Carson. You can read more about the disputed remains found at the Tower of London on Annette’s blog here.

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