Weir’s 2011 book takes an extensive look into a 500-year-old, unsolved mystery. Who actually murdered the Princes in the Tower (the two sons of Edward IV), and what happened to their bodies? The questions seem relatively straightforward but remain remarkably elusive after hundreds of years of speculation, accusation, intrigue, and spin.
Weir uses well-documented, contemporary accounts and primary sources such as the Croyland Chronicle, The Great Chronicle of London, John Rous, and Sir Thomas More (later canonized by the Catholic church), many of whom either witnessed the events in question or were close to many who did. She consulted both pro-Ricardian and pro-Tudor sources as well, which adds weight to her arguments. She takes a look at every player, both well-known and relative unknowns alike: Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Richard III, Lady Margaret Beaufort, Thomas Stanley, Robert Brackenbury, James Tyrell, and Henry Tudor. After a thorough examination of the evidence, Weir presents her conclusions, which match the evidence and common sense (the latter being extremely important and something many authors tend to stretch). She also highlights the fact that More’s account fits all evidence that preceded it and even fits all evidence discovered well after More died.
With a controversial subject such as this, it’s inevitable that people will tear the book down, simply because they don’t agree with the author’s conclusions, and that is certainly the case for many of this book’s reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. So if the book gets a less than stellar ranking, I say, ignore it. Read the entire book, examine her exhaustive list of sources, and see for yourself. An honest review of the evidence presented will fail to find anything amiss in Weir’s conclusions.
If you are interested in an ages-old, unsolved mystery, then this is a great place to start: a well-researched, well-reasoned look at the most infamous mystery of medieval England. Nowhere else will you get a more thorough, more balanced view of the events from which to make your own conclusions.
Amazon link for the book is here.