Royal Mysteries by Timothy Venning
Royal Mysteries by Timothy Venning* – the Medieval period – is a must read for anyone with a passion for Medieval royalty. The book touches on 5 mysteries: death of William II, Edward II, Richard II, the Princes in the Tower, and Edward IV’s wedding. Each one is engaged with in a chapter which has just the right size. The only negative of this book is that if you don’t know the history it will be a bit difficult to follow. For anyone who knows it is an engaging and gripping book, well worth reading. I loved it!
Reading this book I realised that my early medieval history needs a bit more work, as I had to stop a few times to think about the family relations between them. It was a good memory exercise though and I haven’t had to check the family tree to remember (I have a family tree on my office wall).
Second mystery was about Edward II and it was so interesting to read about the possible scenarios of what happened to him. I read previously about one or two, but having all of them described was great!
Richard II’s death or suicide is talked about and arguments are presented beautifully, without drawing out conclusions, but leaving the reader to make up its own mind.
Mysteries 4 and 5 are interconnected. Reading the contents I was surprised to see Edward IV’s marriage discussed after the Princes in the Tower, but when I read the book it made sense why Venning decided to skip the chronological timeline and go for a topic-focused approach. These two chapters were my favourite, probably because it dealt with the medieval history I know best and that I also find fascinating. I fully agree with his views on Richard III. I have to say I’m always a bit puzzled by Richard’s apologists, he was either a child killer or highly incompetent. There is a part on the accounts from the period that I loved reading about.
It is a great book, I can’t recommend it enough.
Royal Mysteries by Timothy Venning
Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Pen & Sword History
Year it was published: 2021
Genre(s): History – Medieval
About the author: Timothy Venning got his BA and PhD from King’s College London. He specialised in Cromwell’s foreign policy.
Other publications include Dictionary of National Biography (OUP – contributions); Cromwellian Foreign Policy (Palgrave); A Compendium of British Office-Holders (Palgarve); A Chronology of Byzantine Empire (Palgrave); A Chronology of the Roman Empire (Continuum); A Chronology of the Crusades (Routledge); A Chronology of Early Medieval Britain and Europe Ad 450-1066 (Routledge; Anglo-Saxon Kings and Queens; The Kings and Queens of Wales; The Kings and Queens of Scotland; Lords of the Isles: Rulers of the Highlands, Hebrides, and Man; King-Makers: Lords of the Welsh Marches (Amberley); If Rome Had Survived; An Alternative History of Britain; The Anglo-Saxon Age; The Hundred Years War; Norman and Plantagenets; The Tudors; The English Civil War (all Pen and Sword); plus 8 titles forthcoming including academic titles: Cromwell’s Failed State and the Monarchy; The Fall of the British Republic and the Return of the King: From Cromwell’s Commonwealth to Stuart Monarchy, 1657-1670: plus more Royal Mysteries as above and the pipeline. (All Pen and Sword).
Website & Social Media Links: Pen and Sword
*I was sent a copy of Royal Mysteries by Timothy Venning for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.