12 books directly related to Richard III of England 📚

All 12 Richard III of England books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

Book cover of Under the Hog: A Novel of Richard III

Why this book?

Academic books too dry? Primary sources too intimidating? Find a copy of Under the Hog, a historical novel set in the War of the Roses in 15th century England that is perhaps the best historical novel ever — certainly the best written by a pseudonymous author! It gives a variety of close-up views of medieval combat, politics, and culture, and is a favorite among folks who think that king Richard III of England (yes, the evil hunchback of Shakespeare’s depiction) got a reputational raw deal from the Bard. 

Under the Hog: A Novel of Richard III

By Patrick Carleton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Under the Hog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

‘This is still one of the best novels on the life of Richard III’ - The Richard III Society

England, 1471.

In a kingdom rent by civil strife Richard, Duke of Gloucester, is determined to keep the Royal House of York on the throne and bring peace to England.

His unswerving support of his brother, Edward IV, against the conspiracies of both their turncoat brother George, Duke of Clarence, and the powerful Lancastrian claimants, wins him many enemies.

And when fate destines him to take the throne, he is forced to quell the rebellions of Lord Rivers and the Duke…

The Daughter of Time

By Josephine Tey,

Book cover of The Daughter of Time

Why this book?

Tey’s fictional detective, Alan Grant, takes a revisionist view of the villainy, immortalized by Shakespeare, of Richard III. Grant is laid up in bed and decides to plumb history for a case; in other words, this is a kind of literary Rear Window. As someone who has taught Richard III many times, I found it to be a refreshing shift in my understanding of the character.

The Daughter of Time

By Josephine Tey,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Daughter of Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

_________________________
Josephine Tey's classic novel about Richard III, the hunchback king whose skeleton was famously discovered in a council car park, investigates his role in the death of his nephews, the princes in the Tower, and his own death at the Battle of Bosworth.

Richard III reigned for only two years, and for centuries he was villified as the hunch-backed wicked uncle, murderer of the princes in the Tower. Josephine Tey's novel The Daughter of Time is an investigation into the real facts behind the last Plantagenet king's reign, and an attempt to right what many believe to be the…


Book cover of Richard III: Loyalty Binds Me

Why this book?

Matt Lewis is a brilliant historian and writer. This biography of Richard III is beautifully written. Matt takes us through Richard’s life from his time as a young boy to his death at Bosworth. Matt’s passion for this monarch is clear, and he makes a very strong case for why he believes the crown was stolen out from under him. Well done, Matt.

Richard III: Loyalty Binds Me

By Matthew Lewis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Richard III as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

King Richard III remains one of the most controversial figures in British history. Matthew Lewis's new biography aims to become a definitive account by exploring what is known of his childhood and the impacts it had on his personality and view of the world. He would be cast into insecurity and exile only to become a royal prince before his tenth birthday.

As Richard spends his teenage years under the watchful gaze of his older brother, Edward IV, he is eventually placed in the household of their cousin, the Earl of Warwick, remembered as the Kingmaker; but as the relationship…

Book cover of Richard III: The Maligned King

Why this book?

This is a compelling and comprehensive study of Richard III’s reign. Annette Carson examines the events as they actually happened, based on the evidence of the original sources. In place of assumptions so beloved of traditional historians, she instead dissects motives and actions in light of the historical facts. Carson dares to investigate areas where historians fear to tread, raising many controversial questions and encouraging readers to think again.

Richard III: The Maligned King

By Annette Carson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Richard III as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 2012 Annette Carson formed part of the team that discovered King Richard III's mortal remains, verified in 2013 by forensics including DNA matching. In response to the recent upsurge of interest, her 2009 paperback has been updated with details of the discovery plus new illustrations, and a larger typeface for easier readability. Carson's premise is that for centuries the vision of Richard III has been dominated by the fictional creations of Thomas More and Shakespeare. Many voices, some of them eminent and scholarly, have urged a more reasoned view to replace the traditional black portrait.

This book seeks to…


Book cover of The Secret Queen: Eleanor Talbot, the Woman Who Put Richard III on the Throne

Why this book?

Following Edward IV’s death in 1483, his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was found to be bigamous and their children declared illegitimate. The crown then passed to Edward’s younger brother, Richard III, who was elected king. For centuries the story of Edward IV’s bigamy was believed to be a concoction. In this seminal work, John Ashdown-Hill brings to light the story of Eleanor Talbot, Edward IV’s legal wife. 

The Secret Queen: Eleanor Talbot, the Woman Who Put Richard III on the Throne

By John Ashdown-Hill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Secret Queen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Edward IV died in 1483, the Yorkist succession was called into question by doubts about the legitimacy of his sons (the 'Princes in the Tower'). The crown therefore passed to Edward IV's undoubtedly legitimate younger brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester. But Richard, too, found himself entangled in the web of uncertainly, since those who believed in the legitimacy of Edward IV's children viewed Richard III's own accession with suspicion.

From the day that Edward IV married Eleanor, or pretended to do so, the House of York, previously so secure in its bloodline, confronted a contentious and uncertain future. John…


Domenico Mancini: De Occupatione Regni Anglie

By D. Mancini, Annette Carson (translator),

Book cover of Domenico Mancini: De Occupatione Regni Anglie

Why this book?

Domenico Mancini was an Italian visitor to London in 1483 who witnessed Richard III’s rise from Protector to King, and wrote the only genuinely contemporary account. His short narrative, less than 7,000 words, is so important that it’s used and quoted by every commentator who has anything to say about Richard III. This translation renders Mancini up-to-date and accessible for today’s readers. 

Domenico Mancini: De Occupatione Regni Anglie

By D. Mancini, Annette Carson (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Domenico Mancini as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Annette Carson, a member of the team that found Richard III s grave, has produced this new edition of Mancini s important eyewitness report. Domenico Mancini was an Italian visitor to London in 1483 who witnessed Richard III s rise from Protector to King, and wrote the only genuinely contemporary account.
His short narrative, less than 7,000 words, was originally published in the 1930s in an edition that, for modern historians, leaves much to be desired. The title and a number of key passages were mistranslated. In addition, Mancini s misunderstanding of England s laws and governance, and his omission…

Book cover of Richard III and the Princes in the Tower

Why this book?

There are so many books about these two boys that one could be forgiven for not reading any of them. But, if you are going to read one make it this one. Pollard knows what he is talking about because he has a background of authoritative historical study second to none. What you’ll find in this book is as near as anyone is going to get to a balanced account. Forget all the dark myths and whitewashes of Richard III and just read this book.

Richard III and the Princes in the Tower

By A.J. Pollard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Richard III and the Princes in the Tower as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Richard III has divided opinion for over 500 years. Traditionally, he has been perceived as a villain, a bloody tyrant and the monstrous murderer of his innocent nephews. To others he was and remains a wronged victim who did his best for kingdom and family, a noble prince and enlightened statesman tragically slain. This work explores the story of Richard III and the tales that have been woven around the historic events, and discusses his life and reign and the disappearance of the princes in the tower. It also assesses the original sources upon which much of the "history" is…

The Virgin Widow

By Anne O'Brien,

Book cover of The Virgin Widow

Why this book?

The Virgin Widow is a novel of one of England’s lesser-known Queens, Anne Neville, the wife of Richard III. Before she married Richard, however, she was briefly wed to Edward of Westminster, the Lancastrian heir, who was killed at the battle of Tewkesbury in 1471. This book chronicles Anne’s early life and her relationship with her father, the famous Warwick the Kingmaker, and then with the two young men she would marry. Anne O’Brien writes many interesting and engaging novels about medieval women.

The Virgin Widow

By Anne O'Brien,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Virgin Widow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Sunday Times Bestseller England's Forgotten Queens

'O'Brien cleverly intertwines the personal and political in this enjoyable, gripping tale.'
-The Times

'I was a penniless, landless petitioner, my Neville blood a curse, my future dependent on the charity of those who despised me...'

Anne Neville is the heiress and daughter of the greatest powerbroker in the land, Warwick the Kingmaker. Trapped in a deadly tangle of political intrigue, she is a pawn in an uncertain game, used by the houses of Neville, York and Lancaster alike.

In England's glittering, treacherous court, not all wish to see the Nevilles raised high.…


Book cover of Fortune Like the Moon (Hawkenlye Mysteries)

Why this book?

Because my character Janna seeks refuge in an abbey while on her quest to find her father, I found it interesting and instructive to read about Abbess Helewise and life at Hawkenlye Abbey in more detail. I also enjoyed trying to second-guess whodunit as the Abbess and her helpmate, lord of the manor, Josse d’Acquin, solve the many crimes that come their way. And I was intrigued by the supernatural elements introduced by Alys Clare, with the abbey being situated so close to the ancient forest in the Great Weald, and how the two worlds often intertwine. 

Fortune Like the Moon (Hawkenlye Mysteries)

By Alys Clare,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fortune Like the Moon (Hawkenlye Mysteries) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shortly before his unexpected coronation, King Richard passed a law letting all of England's prisoners go free. Shortly afterwards a young nun is found, gruesomely murdered. Richard swiftly employs an old military colleague of his, Josse d'Acquin, to unravel this hideous mystery. Who could have wanted to kill this innocent young novice, and, more worryingly, why?

Josse goes to Hawkenlye Abbey to find out the answers to these questions. He is having little success until meets the Abbess Helewise, a woman who quickly proves herself to be his equal, both as an amateur sleuth, and as a figure the community…


Book cover of Henry - Book Three of the Tudor Trilogy

Why this book?

Henry VII holds a special place in my heart, and I was hooked on Tony’s book immediately. It was so refreshing to read a historical novel on my favorite monarch. Tony truly brought Henry to life. Henry’s love not only for country but for his beloved wife was so beautifully described. I intend to read the rest of the trilogy!

Henry - Book Three of the Tudor Trilogy

By Tony Riches,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Henry - Book Three of the Tudor Trilogy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Would you become King of England...

If you had to win the crown by conquest?

Henry Tudor’s victory over King Richard III at Bosworth is only the beginning.

Can he end the Wars of the Roses through marriage to the beautiful Princess Elizabeth - and unite the warring houses of Lancaster and York?

Resentment, treachery, rebels and pretenders threaten Henry’s throne.

It seems his prayers are answered, then disaster strikes and Henry must ensure the future of the Tudors.

The third book in the international best-selling Tudor trilogy is based on actual events of courage, adventure, and belief in the…

The Sunne in Splendour

By Sharon Kay Penman,

Book cover of The Sunne in Splendour

Why this book?

Much like Tey’s book, the author raises questions about Richard Plantagenet and whether he was the much-maligned monster of Shakespearean imagining. I love SKP’s books as they draw you into the narrative and keep you entertained for hundreds of pages. 

I started reading every novel of Penman’s I could get my hands on when I was in my PhD. Reading had become a chore – something I did for my research. I had forgotten how to read for fun. My roommate in grad school had been a librarian and reminded me that books weren’t just something you “mine” for information. I am grateful she introduced me to Sharon Kay Penman’s works. 

Both Tey and Penman’s books were published decades before the discovery of Richard III’s body under a Leicester car park in 2012. A detailed autopsy did answer some of our questions about whether he had a misshapen body portrayed in his black legend. Even so, questions remain about Richard’s character. These books remain relevant because there is still reasonable doubt in the case against Richard as a murdering uncle. 

The Sunne in Splendour

By Sharon Kay Penman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sunne in Splendour as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This special thirtieth anniversary edition of the bestselling The Sunne in Splendour, features an author's note from Sharon Penman.

Richard, last-born son of the Duke of York, was seven months short of his nineteenth birthday when he bloodied himself at the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury, earning his legendary reputation as a battle commander in the Wars of the Roses, and ending the Lancastrian line of succession.

But Richard was far more than a warrior schooled in combat. He was also a devoted brother, an ardent suitor, a patron of the arts, an indulgent father, a generous friend. Above all,…


Book cover of The Survival of Princes in the Tower: Murder, Mystery and Myth

Why this book?

The murder of the ‘Princes in the Tower’ is the most famous cold case in British history. Matthew Lewis delves into the context of the disappearance and the characters of the suspects and asks a crucial but often overlooked question: what if there was no murder? Lewis provides a rounded and complete assessment of this most fascinating historical mystery.

The Survival of Princes in the Tower: Murder, Mystery and Myth

By Matthew Lewis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Survival of Princes in the Tower as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The murder of the Princes in the Tower is the most famous cold case in British history. Traditionally considered victims of a ruthless uncle, there are other suspects too often and too easily discounted. There may be no definitive answer, but by delving into the context of their disappearance and the characters of the suspects Matthew Lewis examines the motives and opportunities afresh as well as asking a crucial but often overlooked question: what if there was no murder? What if Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York survived their uncle's reign and even that of their brother-in-law…