I am having a very difficult time with The Princes in the Tower. I am trying to approach it with an open mind, but I have been a Richard apologist since I first read The Daughter of Time. Maybe my reservations will be swept away as the book continues and more evidence is explained, but at this point I am still not convinced that Richard had sufficient motivation to brutally murder his nephews. He’d been totally loyal to his brother, one of the few people who stayed loyal throughout. It is (or may be) true that he needed the Princes out of the way in order to become king, but a secret, unrevealed killing doesn’t really accomplish that. Their disappearance doesn’t benefit him as much as a lie about their death would have.
It also doesn’t help that Weir, for all her protestations of objectivity, is writing after she has been convinced of Richard’s guilt. The chapter on sources is little more than reasons why the pro-Tudor chronicles are really accurate and unbiased. No, really they are. I mean it. Totally accurate and unbiased. And thoroughly convincing in their accuracy and objectivity. And she refers to any pro-Yorkist text as “revisionist” which despite any efforts has a connotation of “twisting or rewriting history to make our guy look good, even if it means resorting to bare-faced lies.” Maybe it’s just me, but a really impartial view doesn’t focus on one suspect exclusively and detail the parts of his upbringing that would create amorality. Seriously, is there nothing in Henry Tudor’s early life that would make him feel entitled to the throne and willing to, at the very least, fight a battle over it?
Maybe this imbalance will be redressed in further chapters. And maybe this is just my own personal Tudor exhaustion (how many books on Henry VIII and Elizabeth I do we really need?). I’m trying to keep an open mind. I will keep reading and see if she convinces me, but right now I’m very skeptical.
(I will, of course, post again when I have actually finished it. Update to come. Eventually.)