A review of Mike Ingram’s book on Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth….

 

I like to read a good review, and here is one  about Mike Ingram‘s book Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth. There is no point in reviewing the review, so I’ll just say that after reading this one you’ll know exactly what you’ll get if you purchase the book. No, it doesn’t contain “spoilers”, it just lays out the facts and lets you decide for yourself. I will now be purchasing the book for myself.

The book is available from Amazon.co.uk.

Since writing the above, I have learned that Mr Ingram has passed away. See comment below. This is very sad news. May he rest in peace, and may his work always be appreciated.

11 comments

  1. Earlier this month (10 Dec 2021) I got an email from the Society that Mr Ingram had just passed, no details, just very sad all around. A devotee of Richard and the period itself his expertise on medieval military details was one I respected. Political commentary will always and should be an ongoing debate. Anne Sutton, as usual, said it best a few years ago when trying to untangle the vicious mess that was the Hungerford grant (and let’s not talk about the Countess Oxford!) when she wrote, “without curiosity about details, no real historical research is possible” – Mr Ingram always had scads of details that I myself not being inclined towards horsemanship, arms or artillery greatly appreciated. Very sorry to read of his passing, and do pick up his books ( he also has one of the Battle of Northampton, 1460) that might be considered a ‘specialist’ read, but then so is Bosworth, for anyone not intimately involved in Ricardian or WoTR studies.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I know my weaknesses and the military theatre is the big one. As we are missing so much of the primary documents for Richard the next tier out is the milieu in which he lived, and trust me massive amounts of that information survives! We may not know where he was at critical points in his short life (ex. when did he join and leave Warwick’s household; where was he late July thru early October 1469; where was he Oct thru Nov 1470, etc) but we can easily find who rented what shop on the Bridge (name a decade) and for how much and to whom or what ships brought in what goods to what port, quantities, name of ship captain and their career outline, we don’t know who Richard’s mistress(es) were but I can find the names of Black William Herbert earl of Pembroke’s (many) mistresses names, their children by him, (and those of his brother Sir Richard, AND his sons, one of whom had 17 named children, natural and legitimate!) we have Coroner rolls, Hustings, property leases, mountains of information about the Gilds and their apprentices, YOU name it, we can ferret out that material and of course, military matters.
      The Osprey line of guides is well known and yet I continue to find ones I didn’t know they publish, my latest is on the Medieval Cannon (1346-1494), right up Richard’s alley. Everytime I think I know ‘enough’ I find out something else that puts me back to square one, for example, just how many Burgundian troops did Richard have at Bosworth? That would mean handgunners, and artillery – a book I am looking to get hold of is Anne Curry and Glenn Foard’s 2013 quasi archaeological approach to Bosworth. Most recently I found The Burgundian Wars by Detlef Ollesch and Hagen Seehase, this was a awesome find, blew me away (97839963600142), yes, on the technical side but invaluable concerning Charles the Bold/Rash; wrote one of my rare Amazon reviews for that one! Along those lines was The Medieval Fighting Man: Costume and Equipment 800-1500 by Jens Hill and Jonas Freiberg (9781785000096), the daily reality of Richard as a military commander I think is too often overlooked due to the political squabbles that historians and writers engage in (possibly because they too know little about military tactics, strategy or operations).
      Richard was a soldier and engaged in war by necessity (to quote Prof. Patrick Parsons) not by choice or preference although I think his upbringing as a knight imbued with chivalry was meant to give it an honorable cast (something sorely missing in the Stanley brothers, and that is not me saying this, although I could! That comment too is from Prof. Parsons, from Univ. of Strathclyde).
      My latest obsession is the so-called Battle of Edgecote, July 1469, spurred by a book by Graham Evans, (2019, 9781794611078) – this virtually forgotten ambush then execution of the Herbert brothers devastated Edward IV’s entire strategy for the Borders and Wales (not to mention an incredibly politically astute and reliable ally in Pembroke) and it thrust a very young Richard (he just turned 17 that October of 1469) into holding the Borders and Wales for Edward until Pembroke’s heir reached majority (that in itself is another story but simplified the younger Herbert either was not inclined or had no such desire to follow in his father’s dominance by military means. As a consequence he lost favor with Edward in his last years and failed to adequately serve Richard III, or even his own territorial interests before or after Bosworth).
      I may want to concentrate on softer edges in the world Richard lived in the harsh truth is he spent his whole life in a civil war, and not just one fought amongst strangers, but family, extended and some very close to home.

      Liked by 3 people

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