The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors

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The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors

The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors

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Or perhaps of her father, who had many of his ex-wives beheaded for treason, or English colonialism, the beginnings of expanding into the new worlds and territories opening up on the opposite side of the world. The Tudor rose appeared everywhere, its implied narrative of ‘families reunited’ popping up in cathedral doorways, the margins of prayerbooks and manuscripts in the royal library. With vivid descriptions of the battles of Towton and Bosworth, where the last Plantagenet king was slain, this is a bold and dramatic narrative history that will delight readers who like their history with a healthy dose of bedlam, romance, and intrigue. The revenge of the French for their humiliation at Agincourt would prove to lie in her blood, for it passed to their son a strain of madness inherited from her father, who had suffered bouts of insanity in which he used to run through his palaces naked and screaming, covered in his own excrement.

Soon afterwards, one of her grandsons disappeared in the Tower of London just as her cousins, “the princes in the Tower”, had also faded from sight.The exact phrase the wars of the roses does not appear before the nineteenth century but the image is there virtually from the 1480s clear in the Tudor Rose (this red and white rose) that’s supposed to show York and Lancaster united. For the best part of two decades the political establishments attempts to create a mechanism for governing England without a functioning monarch. The Wars of the Roses is an extremely complicated period of English history, one if you can’t describe well enough and in a way that isn’t somewhat simple and clear, your average reader is going to get lost pretty quickly. If the cycle of violence that had engulfed the English Crown for nearly five decades seemed finally to be coming to an end, it was only because there were so few candidates left to kill.

In the case of Exeter, York’s superior blood status was explicitly recognized in the first duke of Exeter’s articles of ennoblement. His birth isn’t the problem per say, but it’s the fact that his father, King Henry V, dies only nine months into his life, leaving an infant the ruler of England. Her death had more to do with her Plantagenet blood and the fact that she was the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, than with any crime she committed.Dan Jones explores the myth behind this artifice of Tudor propaganda, a successful device that conjured the illusion of peace and the union of two warring dynasties.

In 1541, the 67-year-old Margaret Pole, one of the last living nieces of Edward IV, was hacked to death in the Tower by a novice axeman, a spectacle that shocked Europe. BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. With the House of Lancaster wiped out in the legitimate male line, only the fourteen-year old Henry Tudor is left to represent the Lancastrian cause, and he is driven into exile in Brittany. Richard Duke of York believed he was more entitled to the privilege and positions bestowed on Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou’s favorites (de la Pole and Beaufort) and that he could do a better job than them, unfortunately his good intentions were lost when he became mad with power and believed that the only way he could rescue England from perdition was by declaring himself king (a bad move which even his closest associates thought was ridiculous); after her partially got what he wanted, Margaret (a formidable woman whose appearance in the book is tremendous, a well educated, and capable leader who had the great example of both her grandmother and mother taking positions of power during her father’s absence or imprisonment, and likewise she wanted to do the same with the same good intentions for her husband’s House) turned the tables on him by defending her only son’s right to inherit his father’s crown and her forces slew him and in his in laws. Under the skilful craftmanship of Dan Jones, this series of bloody conflicts finally take their place in the spotlight.This is a story that ends badly, with ‘A wretched and blundering youth’ hacking at the head and shoulders of an old lady dressed in new shoes. This was not chiefly a dynastic conflict, though all protagonists had royal blood, but a tussle for political dominance.



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