Academic journal article Military Review

Bosworth 1485: The Battle That Transformed England

Academic journal article Military Review

Bosworth 1485: The Battle That Transformed England

Article excerpt


The Battle that Transformed England

Michael K. Jones, Pegasus Books, New York and London, 2015, 256 pages

Regardless of who created the aphorism "history is written by the victor," nothing could be closer to the truth than in the case of King Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England. Richard's grave, discovered under a parking lot in Leicester, England, in 2012, helped rekindle an investigation by some historians as to what kind of king he was. His defeat at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 ended an almost five hundred-year Plantagenet reign and allowed for future writers, such as William Shakespeare, to portray him in a light that might not have been grounded totally in truth. Author Dr. Michael Jones first challenges the credibility of those portrayals by reexamining primary sources of the time and coupling this research with evidence gathered from the burial site of the king. A second discussion, not as powerful as the first, argues about where the battle really took place.

Jones argues early in his text that many of the authors who wrote about Richard III were doing nothing more than attempting to paint the victor and survivor of the battle, Henry VII, in a positive light. Those portrayals, and what ultimately has become accepted history, ignore the need to be objective rather than subjective in their nature. As a result, we have been left with a history of Richard III that was written to make him look more like a maleficent monster than a monarch--a king willing to sink to any level to maintain his throne against a worthier contender.

Does this necessarily mean that Richard III was the quintessence of evil? …

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