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The disappearance of two boys during the summer of 1483 has never been satisfactorily explained. They were Edward, Prince of Wales, nearly thirteen at the time, and his brother, Richard of York, nearly ten. With their father, Edward IV, dying suddenly at forty, both boys had been catapulted into the spotlight of fifteenth-century politics, which was at once bloody and unpredictable. Thanks to the work of the hack 'historians' who wrote for Henry VII, the first Tudor, generations grew up believing that the boys were murdered and that the guilty party was their wicked uncle, Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Richard crowned himself King of England in July 1483, at which time the boys were effectively prisoners in the Tower of London. After that, there was no further sign of them. Over the past 500 years, three men in particular have been accused of the boys' murders - Richard of Gloucester; Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond; and Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. The evidence against them would not stand up in a court of law today, but the court of history is much less demanding and most fingers remain pointed squarely at Richard of Gloucester. This book takes a different approach, the first to follow this particular line of enquiry. It is written as a police procedural, weighing up the historical evidence without being shackled to a particular 'camp'. The supposition has always been made that the boys were murdered for political reasons. But what if that is incorrect? What if they died for other reasons entirely? What if their killer had nothing to gain politically from their deaths at all? And, even more fascinatingly, what if the princes in the Tower were not the only victims?
Richard III is England's most controversial king. Forever associated with the murder of his nephews, the Princes in the Tower, he divides the nation. As spectacular as his death at Bosworth in August 1485 - the last king of England to die in battle - the astonishing discovery of his bones under a Leicester car park five centuries later renewed interest in him and re-opened old debates. Is he the world's most wicked uncle; or is he (in the words of the man who most smeared him) 'a prince more sinned against than sinning'? Richard was not born in the North; neither did he die there, but this detailed look at his life, tracing his steps over the thirty-three years that he lived, focuses on the area that he loved and made his own. As Lord of the North, he had castles at Middleham and Sheriff Hutton, Penrith and Sandal. He fought the Scots along the northern border and on their own territory. His son was born at Middleham and was invested as Prince of Wales at York Minster, where Richard planned to set up a college of 100 priests. His white boar device can be found in obscure corners of churches and castles; his laws, framed in the single parliament of his short reign, gave rights to the people who served him and loved him north of the Trent. And when he felt threatened or outnumbered by his enemies during the turbulent years of the Wars of the Roses, it was to the men of the North that he turned for support and advice. They became his knights of the body; members of the Council of the North which outlived Richard by a 150 years. They died with him at Bosworth. Although we cannot divorce Richard from the violent politics of the day or from events that happened far to the South, it was in the North that Richard's heart lay. The North was his home. It was the place he loved.
In the autumn of 1888, a series of grisly murders took place in Whitechapel in London's East End, the Abyss, the Ghetto, the City of Eternal Night. The Whitechapel murderer, arguably the first of his kind, was never caught but the killings gave rise to the best known pen-name in criminal history - Jack the Ripper. The Whitechapel killer was terrifyingly real but Jack was the creation of Fleet Street, the gallows humour of a newspaper hack whose sole aim in life was to sell newspapers. And where the Dear Boss' letter, with its trade name' signature led, thousands followed. This book is not about the world's first serial killer but about the sick, the perverted, the twisted souls who put pen to paper purporting to be the killer or suggested ever more lurid ways in which he could be caught. Innocent men were put in the frame by Victorian trouble-makers who would be perfectly at home with today's Internet trolls, pointing cruel fingers in almost perfect anonymity. The book takes the lid off Victorian mindsets, exposing a dark and unnatural place as topsy-turvy as that inhabited by the killer himself.
'Tell me a story, Kit...'It's All Hallows' Eve and Kit Marlowe's evening is disrupted by the call of an ethereal voice, requesting a tale for the haunted night. From the depths of his creative mind comes the tale of ghostly horrors and unearthly cries which rattles even the most supernatural of beings...Fans of M. J. Trow's Kit Marlowe mysteries must not miss this chilling short.