Reading List

For Casual Readers/Newcomers to the Fifteenth Century

Introductions to the Wars of the Roses

  • Lauren Johnson, Shadow King: The Life and Death of Henry VI (2019)
  • Nathen Amin, The House of Beaufort: The Bastard Line that Captured the Crown (2017)
  • D. Grummitt, A Short History of the Wars of the Roses (2013)
  • Sarah Gristwood, Blood Sisters. The Women behind the Wars of the Roses (2013)
  • Anne Crawford, The Yorkists. The History of a Dynasty (2007)

Biographies of Richard III

  • Rosemary Horrox, Richard III, a failed king? (2020) a rigorous evaluation by a Cambridge Fellow
  • Matthew Lewis, Richard III: Loyalty Binds Me (2018) – most recent pro-Richard biography
  • Chris Skidmore, Richard III: Brother, Protector, King (2017) – a non-Ricardian view
  • David Baldwin, Richard III (2015)
  • David Horspool, Richard III. A Ruler and his Reputation (2015) – a non-Ricardian perspective
  • John Ashdown-Hill, The Last Days of Richard III and the fate of his DNA (2013)
  • Paul Murray Kendall, Richard III (1955) – classic defence of Richard III

Defences of Richard III

  • V. B. Lamb, The Betrayal of Richard III: an introduction to the controversy, ed. P. W. Hammond (2015) – new edition of classic (1959) re-examination of the development of the legends
  • Annette Carson, Richard III. Maligned King (2008, revised 2013) Examines original evidence from his reign
  • Jeremy Potter, Good King Richard: an account of Richard III and his reputation 1483-1983 (1983, with new intro 2014) – examines changing attitudes in both popular and academic histories
  • Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time, (1951) classic detective novel, remains a very accessible introduction

Other Biographies

  • Peter Hammond, The Children of Richard III (2017)
  • Matthew Lewis, Richard Duke of York: King by Right (2017)
  • A. J. Pollard, Edward IV: the Summer King (2016)
  • James Ross, Henry VI: a Good, Simple and Innocent Man (2016)
  • John Ashdown-Hill, The Secret Queen, Eleanor Talbot: the Woman who put Richard III on the Throne (2009)
  • Michael Hicks, Anne Neville: Queen to Richard III (2006)
  • David Baldwin, Elizabeth Woodville: Mother of the Princes in the Tower (2002)
  • Christine Weightman, Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy 1446-1503 (1989)

The Princes in the Tower

  • Matthew Lewis, The Survival of the Princes in the Tower: Murder, Mystery and Myth (2017)
  • A. J. Pollard, Richard III and the Princes in the Tower (1991) – concludes princes were killed with Richard’s knowledge

The World of the Wars of the Roses

  • Ian Mortimer, A Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England (2009) – set in 14th century but much of everyday life had not significantly changed
  • Rosemary Horrox ed., Fifteenth Century Attitudes: Perceptions of Society in Late Medieval England (2008)
  • Christina Hardyment, Malory: The Life and Times of King Arthur’s Chronicler (2006)

Looking for Richard III

  • A. J. Carson ed. Finding Richard III. The Official Account of Research by the Retrieval and Reburial Project (2014)
  • Philippa Langley and Mike Jones, The King’s Grave: the Search for Richard III (2013)
  • Mathew Morris and Richard Buckley, Richard III: The King Under the Carpark (2013)
  • Mike Pitts, Digging for Richard III: How Archaeology Found the King  (2015)

For Students or those who want further reading

Richard III

  • Michael Hicks, Richard III: The Self Made King (2019) deeply researched and very comprehensive, compellingly written, occasionally controversial
  • Peter Hammond, Richard III and the Bosworth Campaign (2010) an up to date assessment of one of the most debated aspects of Richard’s life
  • Rosemary Horrox, Richard III: A Study in Service (1991) in depth study of his affinity/administration etc
  • Charles Ross, Richard III (1981) the biography still found on all university reading lists, not particularly pro-Richard

Other Principal Personalities

  • Lynda J. Pidgeon, Brought up of Nought: a History of the Woodville Family (2019)
  • J. L. Laynesmith, Cecily Duchess of York (2017)
  • Harry Schnitker, Margaret of York (2016)
  • Hannes Kleineke, Edward IV (2009) – combines academic rigour with very readable style
  • Helen Maurer, Margaret of Anjou: Queenship and Power in Late Medieval England (2003)
  • Ralph Griffiths, The Reign of King Henry VI (1981)
  • Michael Hicks, False, Fleeting, Perjur’d Clarence (1980)
  • Charles Ross, Edward IV (1974) – more accessible than Scofield, classic student text
  • Cora L. Scofield, The Life and Reign of Edward the Fourth 2 vols. (1923) –  the most deeply researched biography of Edward IV, still the starting point for all other biographers

The Wars of the Roses

  • A. J. Pollard, The Wars of the Roses (2013)
  • Hannes Kleineke and Christian Steer eds., The Yorkist Age (2013)
  • Thomas Penn, The Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England (2012)
  • Michael Hicks, The Wars of the Roses (2010)
  • Helen Castor, Blood and Roses (2004) – from the perspective of the Paston family
  • Ann Wroe, Perkin: A Story of Deception (2004)

Getting Closer to the Sources

  • Keith Dockray and Peter Hammond, Richard III: From Contemporary Chronicles, Letters and Records (new edition, 2015)
  • Sean Cunningham, Richard III. A Royal Engima (2003)
  • Keith Dockray, William Shakespeare, the Wars of the Roses and the Historians  (2002)
  • Keith Dockray, Edward IV: a Source Book (1999)
  • Anne F. Sutton and Livia Visser-Fuchs, Richard III’s Books (1997)
  • Anne F. Sutton and Livia Visser-Fuchs, The Hours of Richard III (1996)
  • Margaret L. Kekewich et al. The Politics of Fifteenth Century England: John Vale’s Book (1995)
  • Anne F. Sutton and Peter Hammond, The Coronation of Richard III: the extant documents (1983)

Online Sources

The Richard III Society is developing a website dedicated to online sources they have produced here, and you can find more on this website here.

A woman teaching girls to read
a medieval woman teaching girls to read. BL MS Harley 3828 f. 27.