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Bosworth (Hardback)

The Archaeology of the Battlefield

British History Archaeology Photographic Books Colour Books Military 15th Century

By Richard Mackinder
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 232
Illustrations: 80 colour & 30 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781399010528
Published: 30th December 2021

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The Wars of the Roses came to a bloody climax at the Battle of Bosworth on 22 August 1485. In a few hours, on a stretch of otherwise unremarkable fields in Leicestershire, Richard III, Henry Tudor and their Yorkist and Lancastrian supporters clashed. This decisive moment in English history ought to be clearly recorded and understood, yet controversy has confused our understanding of where and how the battle was fought. That is why Richard Mackinder’s highly illustrated and personal account of the search for evidence of the battle is such absorbing reading. He shows how archaeological evidence, discovered by painstaking work on the ground, has put this historic battle into the modern landscape.

Using the results of the latest research, he takes the reader through each phase of the battle, from the camp sites of the opposing armies on the night before, through the movements of thousands of men across the battlefield during the fight and the major individual episodes such as the death of the Duke of Norfolk, the intervention of Sir William Stanley and the death of Richard III.

At each stage he recounts what happened, where it happened and what physical evidence has survived. A vivid impression of the battle emerges from his narrative which is closely linked to the landscape that was fought over on that fateful day.

An interesting account of new discoveries of metal detectorists going over the area long thought to have been the location of the Battle of Bosworth. This book is an interesting mix of accessible reading for the history buff and armchair archaeologists and detailed discoveries and lists of findings made during the archaeological surveys conducted over the course of several years. While it helps bring to life the difficulties of Richard’s final battle and the logistics of it from all sides, one of the greatest things I think this book does, is to remind the reader that while history has happened, we are constantly making new discoveries about it. Just because people thought they knew the story of the Battle of Bosworth thirty years ago doesn't mean they were right, doesn’t mean we should stop asking questions, or developing newer and better technology to answer those questions, and doesn’t mean that we should ever be satisfied we know the answers. The well written and interesting self guided walking tour provided here helps remind us that history is still all around us, even as it makes way today for cars and daily modern life.

A good read for Ricardian enthusiasts and those interested in battlefield archaeology especially.

NetGalley, Anne Morgan

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Battle of Bosworth has captured the imagination ever since that fateful day in 1485 when King Richard III was killed and Henry Tudor assumed the throne as King Henry VII.
The precise location and nature of the battle has long been the subject of debate. Richard Mackinder’s book takes a forensic look at each stage of the battle and how it ties into the landscape of Leicestershire through archaeological finds, contemporary writings and maps. Mackinder reassess the available evidence, as well as newly discovered facts, with no preconceived ideas, to reach a plausible and rigurously researched conclusion about Bosworth that may well be definitive.
The book is fully illustrated with maps, drawings and photographs of archaeological findings from the area. Concise, lucid and eminently readable, Richard Mackinder puts the reader right in the thick of the battle with absolutely no waffle, and his book is an important addition to our knowledge of this landmark battle.

NetGalley, Wyn Lewis

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A well researched and fascinating read!

NetGalley, Michelle Coates

About Richard Mackinder

Richard Mackinder worked at Bosworth Battlefield between 1991 and 2015. In 2001 he set up a team of volunteers called the Ambion Historical & Archaeological Research Group which aimed to find evidence of the 1485 battle and to explore human impact on the local landscape. In 2005 he became the onsite co-ordinator for the Lottery-funded project led jointly by the Battlefield Trust and Leicestershire County Council which in 2010 proved where at least part of the battle was fought. He has been guiding visitors around the battlefield for thirty years.

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