The Perfect Prince by Ann Wroe
The Mystery of Perkin Warbeck and His Quest for the Throne of England

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Synopsis

In 1491, as Machiavelli advised popes and princes and Leonardo da Vinci astonished the art world, a young man boarded a ship in Portugal bound for Ireland. He would be greeted upon arrival as the rightful heir to the throne of England. The trouble was, England already had a king.

The most intriguing and ambitious pretender in history, this elegant young man was celebrated throughout Europe as the prince he claimed to be: Richard, Duke of York, the younger of the “Princes in the Tower” who were presumed to have been murdered almost a decade earlier. Handsome, well-mannered, and charismatic, he behaved like the perfect prince, and many believed he was one. The greatest European rulers of the age—among them the emperor Maximilian, Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, and Charles VIII of France—used him as a diplomatic pawn to their own advantage. As such, he tormented Henry VII for eight years, attempting to invade England three times. Eventually, defeated and captured, he admitted to being Perkin Warbeck, the son of a common boatman from Flanders. But was this really the truth?

Ann Wroe, a historian and storyteller of the first rank, delves into the secret corners of the late medieval world to explore both the elusive nature of identity and the human propensity for deception. In uncovering the mystery of Perkin Warbeck, Wroe illuminates not only a life but an entire world trembling on the verge of discovery.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Ann Wroe

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ANN WROE is the Briefings and Obituaries Editor of The Economist. After earning a doctorate in medieval history from Oxford, she worked at the BBC, covering French and Italian politics. She joined The Economist in 1976 and has held the posts of Books and Arts editor and American editor. She has written five other books and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Literature.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Random House. 640 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Best of all, she fills in the margins of this scantily documented episode with intriguing analyses of 15th-century courting customs, fashions (wearing silk, at a time when no one below the rank of knight could wear it, bolstered Warbeck’s credibility), and, most crucially, a cultural atmosphere t...

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Publishers Weekly

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Many readers who know the English War of the Roses through the plays of Shakespeare will be interested in the coda Wroe offers to that history: several years into the reign of Henry VII, a young man called Perkin Warbeck claimed to be one of the sons of Edward IV, consigned as boys to the Tower o...

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Daily Kos

And see, all this just shows how much I adored the book - I haven't referred to anything to write this comment - it's all out of memory!.

Nov 01 2013 | Read Full Review of The Perfect Prince: The Myste...

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