Charles Derek Ross (1924–1986)

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The ultimate Shakespearean villain, the original evil uncle, and the poster child for physical attributes show character, he is Richard III. Following up his biography of the first Yorkist king, historian Charles Derek Ross’ Richard III covers the life and reign of the last Yorkist king who’s controversial taking of the throne still sparks debate to this day.

From the start Ross “anti-Ricardian” sentiment is out there, however he also places the man in the context of his times as well as the political environment that the Yorkists promoted. Ross even-handed approach is centered going back to what contemporary accounts of Richard’s reign and avoiding anything that he thought was Tudor propaganda, however he noted that the propaganda worked because it appeared to have some sprinkling of truth. Ross divided the biography into three sections that boiled down to before Edward’s death, the brief Protectorate, and as King. Throughout the biography Ross emphasizes the extrajudicial executions and property appropriation that Edward IV and Warwick (Richard’s father-in-law) performed during the early Yorkist period that eventually Richard would follow in his Protectorate not only to shore up his power but then seize it. Ross assigns ultimate responsibility for Edward V and young Richard of York’s deaths to Richard and doesn’t go along with the Tudor line about who did the deed. Ross’ explores Richard’s reign as one of using all the tools at his disposal to retain power against the one challenger he had, Henry Tudor, that ultimately came down to one battle that didn’t go his way.

Richard III is a balanced look at England’s most controversial king, though Charles Derek Ross is critical of the last Plantagenet he does put the man in the context of his times and doesn’t perform a hit job.
… (lisätietoja)
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mattries37315 | Nov 19, 2022 |
A devastating battle resulted in his father and younger brother dead leading to him taking up his family’s claim to the throne of England and he took it. Charles Ross’ Edward IV is the first modern biography of the first Yorkist king.

Ross essentially divided this biography into three parts, one for each of Edward’s reigns and how Edward governed over the course of his time on the throne. Edward’s reputation over the centuries was either a strong warrior-king or a lazy, debauched ruler who partied himself into an early grave depend on who was reviewing him; Ross revealed that both opinions were true as Edward was a charismatic individual who inspired men to fight for him but coming to the throne at such a young age made him enjoy it. Ross’ lively writing describing Edward’s reigns stood in stark contrast to his writing of Edward’s governance which was dry and at times snooze-inducing, while I understood Ross’ decision to compare various economic or law-and-order issues from both reigns it might have been better to mix the governance in with the happenings of the reigns.

Edward IV looks at the man who founded a dynasty that lasted only two years past his death but began laying down the foundations that the Tudors would use to transform England especially his famous grandson, Henry.
… (lisätietoja)
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mattries37315 | 1 muu arvostelu | Nov 29, 2021 |
Being surely the definitive account of the reign of England's fourth Edward. His reign had several interesting and rather unique aspects: he spent many years on the throne with his predecessor still alive and in the country, he was deposed and reclaimed the throne, and he was the only English monarch since 1066 to die on the throne with a living son and not be succeeded by said son. As for the book, it's outstanding history which is reasonably readable but hardly a page-turner; wars and politics in medieval England can be made interesting, crown finances and trade statistics, not so much. And, like almost all medieval histories, the book could use a glossary.… (lisätietoja)
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Big_Bang_Gorilla | 1 muu arvostelu | Jul 1, 2020 |
2636 The Wars of the Roses, by Charles Ross (read 9 Aug 1994) This is a concise history of the Wars and is much better than a book I read 20 Jan 1975 on the same subject by R. L. Storey.
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Schmerguls | Apr 5, 2008 |

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