The Family of Richard III – Michael Hicks

What a confusing book!  This is a book about the various families who surrounded Richard of Fotheringhay/Duke of Gloucester/Richard III throughout his life.  It tells of how anyone who was anyone in Medieval England was interrelated, often several times over, through birth and marriage.  And, as with any history of this period, there are far too many people who are important to the story who share the same name and/or title.  Keeping track of which Duke of York or Edward the author is referring is nigh on impossible.

That said I do now have a better understanding of Richard’s life and what is meant by family and family life in the middle ages.

The book is organised into chapters on aspects of the upper echelons of medieval society rather than chronologically and I found this helpful to put Richard into the wider context of his world.  Particularly useful were chapters on what was meant by family in 15th century, the House of York, the 3 brothers (Edward IV, Duke of Clarence and Richard III), the evolution of the Royal family and Richard’s heirs.

I’m still not sure I’m completely sure who is who in the War of the Roses saga but I’m pleased I read this book and I expect I might go back to it when I next read a book about that period.

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