a conclusion which throws much of the blame for Richard's usurpation onto Edward IV, whose failure to resolve the three-cornered conflict between Richard, Hastings and the Woodvilles ensured a bloody struggle for power on his premature death. To complement this convincing picture of Richard the unscrupulous but effective politician, Ross explores the king's intense piety, and the interesting tension between the politically necessary magnificence of his court and the moral strictures of the learned clerics he patronized. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that Richard saw a similar tension between God's demands and the political necessity of the usurpation. Ross is commendably cautious in tackling such problems of motivation, as he is in reconstructing the politics of 1483 or the details of Bosworth: an approach vindicated by the ebb and flow of debate on these issues even in the few years since he wrote. At times he can only expound significant questions to which we will probably never know the answer: what, for instance, drove Buckingham to play a leading role in Richard's usurpation, winning from the grateful king almost viceregal authority over Wales, only to rebel five months later? At times he raises questions which undoubtedly merit further investigation, of the sort which Richard's relationship with the north, before and after 1483, has recently received. The one major area in which he begins to form questions but never pursues them is that of the European context. Contemporary states faced similar problems from powerful royal relatives and ambitious apanagistes, but resolved them without the need for uncles to take their nephews' thrones; some thoughts on the distinctiveness of Yorkist politics in this regard might have complemented Professor Ross's otherwise admirable contextual ization of the controversial King Richard. STEVEN GUNN Merton College, Oxford CHARLES BRANDON, DUKE OF SUFFOLK, c. 1484-1545. By S. J. Gunn. Blackwell, Oxford, 1988. Pp. xv, 256. £ 29.50. Steven Gunn is known to readers of the WELSH HISTORY REVIEW by his article on the regime of Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, in north Wales (Vol. 12, 1985). In his life of the duke he now presents an admirably comprehensive account of a leading courtier and close friend of Henry VIII who nevertheless found it a slow process to build his power in the localities. Brandon's influence in Wales rested more on office-holding than on the ownership of land and effectively came to an end when he lost his Welsh offices in Wolsey's reforms of 1525. He was already by then more concerned with establishing himself as a magnate in East Anglia, where Henry VIII had endowed him with estates forfeited by the de la Poles, former dukes of Suffolk. Yet he faced formidable competition there from the Howard dukes of Norfolk and had to struggle to create an affinity. When his wife Mary, sister of Henry VIII, died in 1533, he quickly married his ward, Catherine Willoughby, heiress to large estates in Lincolnshire. Because of this connection he was chosen to lead the royal army