On 22 August 1485, Richard III was killed at Bosworth Field, the last king of England to die in battle. His victorious opponent, Henry Tudor (the future Henry VII), went on to found one of our most famous ruling dynasties. Richard's body was displayed in undignified fashion for two days in nearby Leicester and then hurriedly buried in the church of the Greyfriars. Fifty years later, at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, the king's grave was lost - its contents believed to be emptied into the river Soar - and Richard III's reputation buried under a mound of Tudor propaganda. Its culmination was Shakespeare's compelling portrayal of a deformed and murderous villain, written over a hundred years after Richard's death. Now - in an incredible find - Richard III's remains have been uncovered beneath a car park in Leicester. The King's Grave traces this remarkable journey. In alternate chapters, Philippa Langley, whose years of research and belief that she would find Richard in this exact spot inspired the project, reveals the inside story of the search for the king's grave, and historian Michael Jones tells of Richard's fifteenth-century life and death. The result is a compelling portrayal of one of our greatest archaeological discoveries, allowing a complete re-evaluation of our most controversial monarch - one that discards the distortions of later Tudor histories and puts the man firmly back into the context of his times.
"A solid, perceptive work that rights historical injustices." (Publishers Weekly)
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interesting history lesson
The in depth history of how the search for Richard's bones came into being. The author spent a considerable amount of time making sure that the dig really happened.
The historical tie in to the dig and what brought Richard to Bosworth Field.
A wonderful book to bring forth conversation about the life and times of the last Plantegant warrior king of England.
The Black Sheep is Positive
I didn't read the print edition. I specifically opted for the audio edition because I can't always take the time to read something long.
I've quickly read all the other reader's reviews currently posted. I was surprised that all of them completely missed the point of why and how Langley did what she did. A couple were completely unkind, uncharitable and bordered on whinging. Everyone's a critic when they're reviewing someone else's work which they could never even imagine themselves doing.
I'd be surprised if any of the readers have the slightest clue about how difficult it is to write *and* get published a great book, or how difficult it is to do what Langley did. I wish for those reviewers a review of their own work, in their own field, which focuses on everything they did incorrectly to exclusion of the grand things they accomplished.
In an overwhelmingly reductionistic, scientistic world which first denies what's happening to keep both facts and the moment at bay, *not one* reviewer mentioned the astounding means by which Richard III's grave was found. Not one mentioned the nail-biting drama and whose reputations were at stake, or what Langley felt as she pushed forward a project based in her intuition.
No, I'm not a fan of Ricardian history. In fact I skipped over most of those bits because I don't need to know much about him or his legacy. I didn't listen to the book for that. Instead, I wanted a feeling for what Langley went through, against all odds, and *how* she did things. I *loved* the details she included about that. I hung on every word of it, and would love that she might write more like this about different projects.
Most of us spend so much time doing what we think other people expect of us we forget what it's like to make our own lives and dreams. Langley lived her dream. Only a few of us have the courage and perseverance to do that.
No. But she's very British and understandable in her delivery. I found her cadence pretty good.
It made me cry tear of joy over what Langley and her team accomplished, because of how they did what they did.
- M. D. Austin