Despite reigning for only a relatively short period of time, Richard III is one of England's most controversial monarchs. His life and rule has inspired a huge amount of literature, not least Shakespeare's great play, and controversy still surrounds his seizure of the throne in 1485, the mystery of the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, and his defeat and death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. This biography takes a nuanced view both of Richard III's reign and of the controversies surrounding it, exploring them in the wider context of the period. Defining Richard's character as central to the analysis of his actions, the author emphasizes the need to separate the man himself from the caricature that has so often been painted. The main focus of this book is Richard III as king, and also the development of the English monarchy and society at the end of the medieval era and the beginning of the early modern period. It incorporates new research and previously unpublished material.