The three Richards who ruled England in the Middle Ages were among the most controversial and celebrated of its rulers.
Richard I ('Coeur de Lion', 1189-99) was a great crusading hero; Richard II (1377-99) was an authoritarian aesthete deposed by his cousin, Henry IV, and murdered; while Richard III (1483-85), as the murderer of his nephews, The Princes in the Tower, was the most notorious villain in English history.
This highly readable joint biography shows how much the three kings had in common, apart from their names.
All were younger sons, not expected to come to the throne; all failed to leave a legitimate heir, causing instability on their deaths; all were cultured and pious; and all died violently.
All have attracted accusations but also fascination.
In comparing them, Nigel Saul tells three gripping stories and shows what it took to be a medieval king.