Review: The Survival of the Princes in the Tower by Matthew Lewis

A fantastic review of The Survival of the Princes in the Tower from Rachael’s Ramblings – I couldn’t have written a nicer one myself!

Rachael's Ramblings

The fate of Princes in the Tower is one of the most intriguing mysteries in British history, steeped as it is in heavy emotive imagery. It immediately summons the visual of two small, fair haired boys, clinging together for comfort; lambs kept for the slaughter by their dastardly uncle. And of course, thanks to Shakespeare, our image of Richard III for years was similarly melodramatic – the scheming, malevolent hunchback.

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11 thoughts on “Review: The Survival of the Princes in the Tower by Matthew Lewis

  1. Just about to start reading this book. Really looking forward to it. Loved Richard Duke of York King by Right and Honour and Loyalty

  2. I will Matthew. I don’t know if I’m right and I know some people are adamant that Richard was responsible for their deaths and no one else but I really think there were other contenders who should also be considered of or course the theory that they did not die there in the Tower.

  3. Hello Matthew,

    I really enjoyed your book. You made great points and I discovered so many interesting details, especially on the Lambert Simnel and Warbeck rebellions.
    A page turner from start to finish.

    Though, I was a little bit confused with some of your argument regarding Richard III.
    I always have been open minded on the subject and cautious on who should be blamed for the murder of the princes, if there was a murder.

    While I agree that the other nieces and nephews could also been considered a threat and the fact that they were not harmed by Richard III is significant, I don’t see how this could support the fact that the princes might have been alive during his reign?

    While keep the survival of these two a secret when the other nieces and nephews were living in the open. Edward IV’ daughters and Warwick could also have been used for rebellions and uprisings during Richard’ reign. So why should the two princes existence and survival be kept secret when the whole country was fed dirty rumours about their murder. Because they were first in line?
    Why did Richard III swear an oath that he would not harm Elizabeth Woodville’ daughters without mentioning the boys if they were still possibly alive?

    These arguments did not make much sense to me but I might have misunderstood your reasoning (English is not my first langage).

    Best regards,


    1. Hi David. Thank you for getting in touch. I’m glad you enjoyed the book.

      I understand your confusion – there are no perfectly satisfactory answers to most of the mystery. My own thoughts are that Edward V & Richard, Duke of York were identified as threats as direct male heirs of Edward IV in a way that Clarence’s children weren’t and Edward’s daughters (or at least Elizabeth) were only indirectly identified by Tudor. Once the Princes were hidden, the problem for Richard, I think, was that it would be a weakness to keep producing them, on demand, every time someone questioned their fate. This would keep them prominent, let people know where they were and keep their causes alive. That’s only my opinion, though.


      1. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts!
        It is really a fascinating subject.
        I look forward to reading your next projects!


  4. Just finished this book and really enjoyed it. I have a question (I posted earlier but I wasn’t logged in and I don’t see it) regarding Leslau’s Theory. If Richard of York was married to Catherine Gordon, how did he go on to marry Margaret Grigge? I know she married three more times after his ‘death’, but he, at least, would know the first marriage was still intact. Thanks

    1. Thank you for getting in touch. I’m glad you enjoyed the book. It’s all a bit of a tangled web trying to stitch the various theories together. Richard could have married Margaret Giggs and lived as John Clement if he wasn’t really Perkin (or rather Perkin wasn’t really him). John Clement may have been a son of Perkin and Catherine Gordon. The marriage issue is a problem if Richard was Perkin and Clement, but that would leave the question of who was executed in 1499 as Perkin.

  5. Hi Matthew! Is it true that you are going to publish a new bio on Richard III himself? When is it going to be?

I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

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