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John Ashdown-Hill Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Richard III's 'Beloved Cousyn' (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last Days of Richard III (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Secret Queen (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Royal Marriage Secrets (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Third Plantagenet (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dublin King (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mythology of Richard III (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wars of the Roses (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Private Life of Edward IV (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cecily Neville: Mother of Richard III (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mythology of the 'Princes in the Tower' (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Elizabeth Widville, Lady Grey (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

The Poetry Of John Ashdown-Hill (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

John Ashdown-Hill full name Louis John Frederick Ashdown Hill was a well-known independent historian known for his work on late Medieval English History.
For the most part, his books focused on Richard III of England and the House of York on which he wrote several titles.

Early on, he went to the University of East Anglia from where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in French and History.

He would then go to the University of Essex for his bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and then got a doctoral degree in medieval history from the same institution.
In July 2014, the University of Essex honored him with an honorary doctorate degree acknowledging his work in the discovery of the remains of Richard III and in local history too.
Early in his career, Ashdown Hill taught languages including modern Greek, Italian, English, Spanish, and French.

He also taught classical civilization in Turkey, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Tunisia, even though he ultimately quit so that he could focus on historical research.

In 2003, he began researching what had happened to Richard III. He got into that when some of his colleagues from Belgium sought his help in the sequencing of the mitochondrial DNA of Richard III and his siblings.
John Ashdown Hill spent a year researching the all-female descent line from Anne who was the king’s eldest sister to a woman living in Canada that was known as Joy Ibsen.

In 2005, he said that he had found the DNA sequence of the late king and several of his brothers and sisters.

By 2006 he was presenting his research finding to the London-based Richard III Society in the presence of the Duke of Gloucester, Prince Richard.

In 2004, the author got funding from the BBC to look into the rumors that the remains of Richard III had been buried and then exhumed to be thrown into the Soar River. A few months into his research his conclusion was that there was no truth to the story.

In 2009, Ashdown Hill was invited to lead a study by Phillippa Langley who was a member of the Scotland branch of the Richard III Society.

It was from this that he began working on the Looking for Richard project after it was officially commissioned at Edinburgh’s Crammond Inn.

In August 2012, after doing research for several years, he managed to persuade the Leicester city authorities to provide assistance to the project.

They finally gave approval for the digging up of a car park at the Social Services Department. They were very lucky as they found the bones believed to be those of Richard on the first day of the excavation.
Subsequent research into the mitochondrial DNA of the bones indicated that they were a match for those he had earlier discovered while doing research almost a decade earlier.
On September 2012, the remains were moved from the car park, and by 2014 his role in the finding of the remains of Richard III was acknowledged.

In 2015, Ashdown Hill was awarded an MBE for his service in the identification and exhumation of the remains of Richard III.
After suffering from motor neuron disease for several years, Ashdown Hill died in May 2018.

“The Last Days of Richard III” by John Ashdown-Hill is a record of what happened to Richard III during the last five months of his life.
It chronicles what happened to his remains across his last 150 days and how his DNA came to be found in Canada.
Exploring the events from the standpoint of the man himself and his contemporaries, this is an interesting work into the medieval life of one of the most enigmatic Yorkist kings.
The work deliberately avoids hindsight knowledge that Richard III is going to be the loser of the Battle of Bosworth Field.

It presents him as an active participant in the events that led up to the battle as he pursues his agenda ultimately ending up defeated and dead.

Thereafter, it explores the aftermath of the battle of Bosworth, how his remains were treated, his burial, and the construction of his tomb.

Making use of newly discovered facts and insights, it is an exploration of the motives that informed many of the events in the king’s life.

It also tells the fascinating story of how and why the DNA of the king was rediscovered in Canada. It makes for a thought-provoking and stimulating account of the end of Richard III’s life.

John Ashdown Hill’s novel “Eleanor the Secret Queen” is a work that focuses on a woman who alleged that she was married to Edward IV hence making it possible for Richard to claim the English throne.
Most historians accepted that Edward IV has at some point been in a relationship with Eleanor but the issue of marriage has never been so clear.

Ashdown Hill devotes several chapters to the genealogy of Eleanor and also that of Thomas Boteler her first husband. He also includes collateral and distant relations as he explores the many properties held by Eleanor, her in-laws, and her family.
Edward’s actions when it comes to these properties suggest some kind of vindictiveness to her family, even though this is not so definitive.

The work is full of a lot of speculative language but some strong evidence is presented too that could make for a good argument that Edward was in a relationship with Eleanor.
The most cogently reasoned part of the work is the chapter on how Eleanor was treated by historians in the appendix of the novel.

“Royal Marriage Secrets” by John Ashdown Hill is a work in which we see the birth of a new royal baby at a time when there are some critical changes.

There have been changes in succession laws, even though the rules governing succession and royal weddings have been changing for years. Marriages and succession have typically been handled in various ways by historians over the years.
It is important to note that if the same rules were applied consistently by each king, the order of success would be vastly different from what we have today.

In this work, the author reassesses all controversial British and English royal marriages and succession battles to show how each sheds light on the other.

Ashdown Hill looks into the phenomenon of disputed royal marriage and provides some interesting evidence never seen before that highlights the common points of contrasts and features.

Book Series In Order » Authors » John Ashdown-Hill

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