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Lancaster and York: The Wars of the Roses by…
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Lancaster and York: The Wars of the Roses (1995)

by Alison Weir

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I read this book last year when I didn't manage to read many books at all; this was definitely a worthwhile choice. I have always had a deep interest in history, but during this time I was very curious about British history in general. As an American who never studied European history but has studied other history in a rigorous academic context, this book was well-catered to my understanding.

Specifically, it provided the overview I was looking for along with all the historical context I needed to engage fully with every aspect of Weir's review of this particular period. At the same time, her discussion of sources and defense of her viewpoints on this topic were serious and allowed me to understand where acknowledged ambiguity exists. I got a sense of what the areas of scholarly debate were on this subject, but Weir never undermined the book's function as a piece of engaging storytelling for a general audience with a taste for history and a healthy appetite -- but not ravenous hunger -- for detail.

Basically if you want to get some detailed knowledge of this period for non-academic purposes, it's probable you have found what you're looking for here. Proceed to read - Alison Weir delivers, dear goodreadsers. ( )
  kara.shamy | Jan 9, 2014 |
A very accessible account of the complex web of individual threads leading up to, and covering the duration of, the Wars of the Roses. By concentrating on the people involved, they come to life before one's eyes, and with all the favouritism, plotting, betrayals, murders and accounts of battles this is a real page-turner for the most part; if this had been a novel, it would have invited criticism of being too far-fetched. Alison Weir's style is clear and uncluttered, but the reader has to stay alert to follow the twists and turns of the various characters involved, and the genealogical tables in the appendix are essential to keep track of the changing titles and family relationships. I have only one minor criticism: even after Henry VI's deposition, she keeps referring to Margaret of Anjou as the Queen, when calling her Margaret would have made the sentence much clearer, especially after Edward had got married himself; the same goes for referring to Edward as the King after he had been deposed, and there are one or two instances where the use of ‘King’ is ambiguous, and not immediately obvious from the context. Nevertheless, I know a lot more about the people and events in this turbulent period of English history now than before, so Alison Weir’s mission has been accomplished. This is how historical non-fiction should be written. ( )
  passion4reading | Aug 3, 2013 |
enjoyable overview of the origins and conflicts up to the death of Edward IV, is there anyone with a good word to say about Margaret of Anjou? really emphasizes that factions lead to poor governance
  FKarr | Apr 3, 2013 |
Detailed but fun. It helps to scribble your own genealogical chart as you read thru. Those that think that feminine rule would bring on an era of peace and harmony should follow the moves of Margaret of Anjou and reconsider. ( )
2 vote Grulla | Jun 25, 2009 |
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Epigraph
These matters be kings' games, as it were stage plays, and for the more part played upon scaffolds. Sir Thomas More // What about the getting of the garland, keeping it, losing and winning it again, it hath cost more English blood than twice the winning of France. William Shakespeare, King Richard III
Dedication
This book is dedicated to a much-loved uncle, Rankin Lorimer Weir, in commemoration of his ninetieth birthday. t is also dedicated in loving memory of his beloved wife Dorothy Weir. And also to my godson David Jonathan Marston on the occasion of his twenty-first birthday.
First words
In 1466 a Bohemian nobleman, Gabriel Tetzel, visited England and described it as 'a little, sea-girt garden'.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Lancaster v York -
Real-life, fifteenth-century
Tense soap opera.
(passion4reading)
The king is mad, there's
Misrule, plotting, treachery.
Dull history? No.
(passion4reading)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345404335, Paperback)

Lancaster and York. For much of the fifteenth century, these two families were locked in battle for control of the English throne. Kings were murdered and deposed. Armies marched on London. Old noble names were ruined while rising dynasties seized power and lands. The war between the royal houses of Lancaster and York, the most complex in English history, profoundly altered the course of the monarchy. Alison Weir, one of the foremost authorities on British history, brings brilliantly to life both the war itself and the larger-tha-life figures who fought it on the great stage of England. The Wars of the Roses is history at its very best—swift and compelling, rich in character, pageantry, and drama, and vivid in its re-creation of an astonishing period of history.

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(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:58 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Chronicles the struggles of the Lancaster and York families to control the British monarchy, while offering profiles of such figures as Katherine of Valois, Elizabeth Wydville, and Margaret of Anjou

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