Richard, Duke of York is here!


It’s here! Richard, Duke of York: King By Right is released in the UK today, 15th April,  and available to buy now.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the interest in this new examination of a man who has long fascinated me. The book will delve into the myths and reveal a complex man with wide ranging power and responsibilities to match.

Was he really a wildly ambitious man who sought to exploit a king’s weakness, or has he been painted in two dimensions, his true actions and motivations buried under myth?

If you read the book, and I hope some will find it on their doorstep today, I would love to hear what you think of it.

23 thoughts on “Richard, Duke of York is here!

  1. This has gone straight onto my wish list Matthew. Any word on when it will be available on kindle or paperback?

  2. Reblogged this on Giaconda's Blog and commented:
    Really looking forward to reading this new assessment. It’s a great time to be interested in history as so many of the leading figures are being looked at again with fresh eyes and the old stereotypes demolished. Richard of York has always felt like rather a shadowy figure to me, eclipsed by his sons and his wife yet he remains a divisive figure, largely due to the York v Lancaster split which still exists among historians and social media bloggers. Before reading this book I have imagined him to be a complex but cool character who found himself in a difficult position and decided to gamble on an ‘all or nothing’ result and lost out to treachery from within his own camp. Whilst I do feel genuine sympathy for both Henry VI and Marguerite of Anjou due to his mental instability and incapacity to rule and her constricted ability to control events due to her sex and nationality, I have also always felt sympathy for the Yorks as well. It was no easy position to find yourself in and I felt that he was perhaps cornered into acting as he did. I will be fascinated to read this account and learn more about about the man.

  3. Congratulations Matt on this achievement. I see from the BBC History website that you are the acknowledged expert on the subject! Great article by the way.

  4. Matt – I am reading this book at the moment and it has some very interesting details about Richard of York’s early life (I am only up to the births of Edward and Edmund). However I was surprised to find there was no bibliography and I wondered why you had not included one.

    1. Hi Jasmine,

      I’m glad you are enjoying the book. The lack of bibliography has been commented on in a few places and the reason there isn’t one is that there were no books to include in one. I used primary material such as the Patent Rolls and Parliamentary Rolls along with contemporary chronicles. I didn’t reference any book I could add to a bibliography as there really aren’t any and I tried to make clear in the prose which primary source material came from. In contrast, my Henry III biography due out on 15th has plenty of sources in the bibliography. I hope the lack of a bibliography will not impair your enjoyment of the book.

      Many thanks


      1. Thanks for your swift response, Matt, explaining why there is no bibliography. Richard of York is a rather unknown, well-known figure, if you see what I mean, and your book has some fascinating details of his early life (and I expect his later life too, when I read on further). I had not before appreciated exactly what a vast inheritance he had and what that wealth enabled him to do.

        I shall look out for your Henry III book.

        Best wishes


      2. Hi Jasmine. I agree completely – he’s a figure people think they know well, but hopefully a fuller understanding of how he arrived on the 1450’s in opposition to the government will shed a different light on the nature and purpose of that opposition. Hopefully you will be left with a better understanding of why he did what he did, even if it doesn’t change your overall opinion of him. I look forward to hearing what you think when you reach the end. 😀

  5. Hi Matthew I am looking forward to reading this book, it’s on my kindle. I have read all your other books and found them really interesting, thought provoking and enjoyable. I have developed a real interest in this period and have now read numerous books, my interest developing after the remains of Richard III were found in Leicester. That is a character who absolutely fascinates me together with his loyal followers especially Francis Lovell who carried on the cause after 1485. I think his father Richard Duke of York a really interesting person, son of a traitor and orphaned at a really young age. The richest noble in the land after the death of his uncle, yet always seen as a threat. A renowned soldier, yet made the fateful decision to leave Sandal Castle which led to his forces, together with his son and other relatives being wiped out and a man who honour was very important to, (paid for his troops in France when no money came from the King), yet left his wife at Ludlow to face the Lancastrian Army. Some believe he was a man who always wanted the throne, but I think he was backed into a corner and that option was all that was left to him. He was the premier noble in the land yet ignored and basically banished to Ireland. Henry VI was so weak and ill the realm was an absolute mess, how could he disinherit his son and there be no outrage. Yet I must always remember to think of them in the context of their time and not use modern sentiments. I am looking forward to this book – these people were fascinating.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      I hope you will enjoy the book. I think perhaps we agree on an interpretation of him and his actions. Please let me know what you think of the book when you get going. I hope you’ll find it interesting.

      I’m glad you have enjoyed the other books too. It’s great to get positive feedback – it makes it all the more enjoyable to keep writing.

      Many thanks


  6. Matt..have just finished your book tonight. It’s a very fine book..excellent. I found as I got to the end it became a tough read for Richard, Edmund and Salisbury’s deaths grew nigh. I appreciate Henry was a sick man but by the end of the book my pity for him had vanished although it would appear that he was loved by the commons and possibly all would have been well if Richard had allowed to become Protector although of course problems would have eventually arisen when Henry’s ‘son’ had become an adult and Margaret was never going to accept it. It became clear to me that Richard, like his son, never sought the throne until there was no other action left for them and their very lives were in grave danger. Sadly sometimes the bad guys win…thank you for providing such a good read. Eileen

    1. Hi Eileen. Thank you for reading the book. I’m really pleased that you enjoyed it. Richard’s lack of ambition for the throne until left with no real alternative was the conclusion I felt I reached whilst researching and writing, so I’m pleased that stacked up for you too. Many thanks. Matt

  7. Hi Matt I have just finished this book and it was excellent. I really found myself routing for Richard Duke of York even though you knew what the ending would be. As I have said above I really think he was someone who did the things he did as no other option was available to him and your book has made me think that all the more. He had been ignored on many occasions but stepped in and seemed to rule in Henry’s place in a fair capable manner and had numerous occasions to get his hands on Henrys crown but didn’t. How must he have felt when constantly overlooked in favour of the Beauforts who were awarded money, titles and positions, yet each task they undertook generally ended in failure. Henry was clearly ill and by the end seemed to be completely disinterested in ruling the country and I confess by the end of the book I could have given him a good slap. What troubles he let simmer away until it was too late. I found it really interesting when even Lord Fauconberg had had enough – his leadership at Towton would come back to haunt the Lancastrians. Great book. Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah. Thank you for your kind words. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. I was wary of being too pro-Richard, but the more I delved the more I saw evidence of loyal opposition and a man acting as a last resort. I’m glad you approve, thank you. Matt

I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

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