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Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard the Third   By: (1717-1797)

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Horace Walpole's "Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard the Third" is a highly intriguing and thought-provoking work that challenges the accepted historical narrative around King Richard III. Known as a master of the Gothic, Walpole takes on a different genre altogether by diving into the realm of historical inquiry and analysis.

Within these pages, the author delves into the controversial period of Richard III's reign and sifts through the available historical records, questioning their accuracy and challenging the widely held beliefs about the monarch. By delving into the historical documents and accounts, Walpole skillfully brings to light numerous inconsistencies, biases, and questionable motives behind certain historical figures' testimonies.

Walpole's skepticism and meticulous attention to detail are evident throughout the book. He systematically dissects various accounts, shedding light on the inherent flaws of the sources and the potential ulterior motives of those involved in documenting Richard III's tumultuous reign. Engaging with the reader in a lively and persuasive manner, Walpole presents arguments that offer a fresh perspective on this controversial figure, inviting readers to question the accepted historical narrative.

One of the remarkable aspects of Walpole's work is his ability to intertwine historical analysis with elements of storytelling. He draws upon his skills as a Gothic writer, infusing the book with vivid descriptions and engaging anecdotes. These literary flourishes breathe life into the characters and events, making them leap off the page and capturing the readers' imagination.

While not all readers may be well-versed in the intricacies of medieval British history, Walpole's eloquence and clarity make this book accessible to a wide audience. His meticulous research and logical reasoning make it apparent that he has invested a significant amount of time and effort into challenging the historical consensus, promoting critical thinking among those who engage with his work.

At times, one might find the dense nature of the arguments and the extensive use of historical references a bit overwhelming. However, this should not detract from the book's value as a thought-provoking piece that makes readers question the validity of historical accounts. Walpole effectively encourages readers to analyze the sources and consider different perspectives, illustrating the importance of critical evaluation in historical studies.

In conclusion, Horace Walpole's "Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard the Third" is an unorthodox and fascinating exploration of one of history's most contentious figures. Walpole's analytical approach, captivating storytelling, and persuasive arguments challenge the established historical narrative, making this book a must-read for history enthusiasts and anyone curious about the forces that shape our understanding of the past.

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E text prepared by Marjorie Fulton




L'histoire n'est fondee que sur le tomoignage des Auteurs qui nous l'ont transmisse. Il importe donc extremement, pour la scavoir, de bien connoitre quels etoient ces Auteurs. Rien n'est a negliger en ce point; le tems ou ils ont vecu, leur naissance, leur patrie, le part qu'ils ont eue aux affaires, les moyens par lesquels ils ont ete instruits, et l'interet qu'ils y pouvaient prendre, sont des circonstances essentielles qu'il n'est pas permis d'ignorer: dela depend le plus ou le moins d'autorite qu'ils doivent avoir: et sans cette connoissance, on courra risque tres souvent de prendre pour guide un Historien de mauvaisse foi, ou du moins, mal informe. Hist. de l'Acad. des Inscript. Vol. X.


First Published 1768


So incompetent has the generality of historians been for the province they have undertaken, that it is almost a question, whether, if the dead of past ages could revive, they would be able to reconnoitre the events of their own times, as transmitted to us by ignorance and misrepresentation. All very ancient history, except that of the illuminated Jews, is a perfect fable. It was written by priests, or collected from their reports; and calculated solely to raise lofty ideas of the origin of each nation... Continue reading book >>

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