Perkin: A Story of Deception by Ann Wreo - review by Allan Massie

Allan Massie

The Prince in the Tower

Perkin: A Story of Deception


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THE STORY IS well known, or used to be. In 1491, six years after the Battle of Bosworth, a young man appeared in Ireland, claiming to be Richard of York, the younger of the princes in the Tower, who had mysteriously disappeared during the short reign of their uncle. Richard III. He was slim, handsome. fair-haired. and He looked like a prince, or the way a prince should look. Indeed. he looked far more princelike than most princes. But was he one? Ann Wroe gives her investigation the subtitle, 'a story of deception'.

The young man is known in history not as Richard of York, but as Perkin Warbeck (or Osbeck), an impostor. His parents were neither royal nor noble; moreover, he was not even English, but the son of a boatman from Tournai in Flanders. That, at least, became the officially approved

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