Author: Amy Licence
Publisher: Amberley December 2013
Genre: Non-fiction, Richard III, Anne Neville, House of York, House of Lancaster, House of Plantagenet, House of Neville, England, 1400s.
Pages: 256, 30 illustrations-10 in color
Rating: 4 Stars Very Good
Source: Free copy from Amberley in exchange for a review.
Anne Neville, born 1456, the youngest daughter of Earl of Warwick, the Kingmaker, and Anne de Beauchamp. The eldest daughter Isabel, born 1451.
As a young girl, Anne, married Henry VI's, and Margaret of Anjou's, son and heir, Edward of Westminster. Their marriage was brief. After the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471, Anne was left a vulnerable widow. Her marriage to Richard III, has been debated. Why did she marry Richard? Was she aware of his political decisions? Did she know of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the princes in the Tower?
Amy Licence's aim is to pull away the layers of "hear-say" and "legend" and piece together the real Anne Neville. The mission is difficult, because so few facts are known of Anne. The people surrounding her, historical events, culture and society, and the dynamics of her family, are all explored.
The Earl of Warwick, was a powerful man. His strong character jumps off the pages of any book involving his history. His wife and daughters seem to trail behind him in wake of his shadow. I've often wondered if his daughters had even a bit of his character in them, if so, then they were people of strong character. Because, so little information is known of Anne, or her sister Isabel, in regards to their personality and voice, much of the book, Anne Neville Richard III's Tragic Queen, is pieced together using the family histories and events surrounding both the Neville, Lancaster, and York families. I'm not sure many of us realize, our lives are often the result of other people's decisions and life events, resulting in our need to act or react. It was the same for people of history, and even more so for women, who lived in an age where their voice counted little. Females were for political and family alliances, they were for breeding children (sons), and for the pleasure of men.
Anne Neville Richard III's Tragic Queen, is a historical book, which gives a well-rounded view of the events during the era of the later half of Henry VI reign, through to Edward IV, Richard III, and the family of Neville. The book ends with a reflection on Anne, Richard III's death and later discovery of his bones, and Henry Tudor's entrance.
Anne Neville Richard III's Tragic Queen, is a perfect beginning point for people wanting to read about this historical period, because the book touches on all areas.
I love Amy Licence's approach in sharing both myths and facts.
William Shakespeare's tragedy-play Richard III is referenced often in the book. I've not read this play.....yet.
I enjoyed reading about how children were cared for from infancy on-wards, in regards to the "household staff" of young Edward, the son of Anne and Richard.
Further links on Anne Neville:
Anne Neville, Queen of England-from-Shakespeare and History
Family of Richard III-from-Richard III Society
Anne Neville-from-About.com/Women's History