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Edward IV and the Wars of the Roses Paperback – 18 Aug 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military; Reprint edition (18 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781848845497
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848845497
  • ASIN: 1848845499
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Santiuste studied history at the University of St Andrews, earning a master's degree with distinction. He is the author of 'Edward IV and the Wars of the Roses', as well as various articles. He is the creator, with Rae Tan, of the website 'Reflections of the Yorkist Realm' (yorkistrealm.com).

David currently teaches history, on a part-time basis, at the Office of Lifelong Learning, University of Edinburgh. His next book will be about the Scottish Wars of Independence, focusing on the role of Edward I.

Product Description

Review

"A pleasing and well-informed appraisal of the first Yorkist king. Santiuste provides a clear and cogent survey of the battles that put Edward on the throne, and the ones that kept him there" (Dr Michael Jones, co-author of The Women of the Cousins' War)

"A valuable and thought-provoking addition to the canon, which ought to become required reading for anyone interested in the reign of the first Yorkist monarch" (Dr Hannes Kleineke, The Ricardian)

 "A convincing, well-argued portrayal of one of England's most talented but perhaps least appreciated kings, focusing on his skills as a battlefield leader, an area in which he excelled" (Historyofwar.org)

 "Altogether, this well-researched, cogently argued and eminently readable account paints a vivid picture of Edward IV as a courageous and able soldier, capable of utter ruthlessness when the occasion demanded" (Helen Cox, Towton Battlefield Society)

 "A new and ultimately riveting book … shows exactly why historical biographies are vital in engaging enthusiasts, novice or professional" (Medieval Warfare)

 "A readable, easy way to follow the ups and downs of the conflicts, skilfully using contemporary and academic sources ... Overall, this is a fine study of the Wars of the Roses that focuses on Edward IV and military operations" (Dr William Young, University of North Dakota)

 "Concise, detailed and action-packed … essential reading" (Thehistoryherald.com)

 "An extremely worthy addition to any historian’s bookshelves" (Shropshire Star)

About the Author

David Santiuste studied history at the University of St Andrews. He has published articles on various aspects of late medieval culture, including warfare, and is a member of the Royal Historical Society. He currently lives in Edinburgh.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Livsey on 10 Nov 2011
Format: Hardcover
I do enjoy reading about history, but most books are either too brief and leave me wanting to know more, or else they are so long winded that I get bored and do not finish them. I saw the good reviews for this book and being Lancastrian born of Yorkshire blood, it is a period of history I find interesting.

I was very glad I got this book. Really well written. Easy to follow, except perhaps all the Earls and Lords, who changed their allegiance more often than I change my shoes, and plenty of detail about Edward's rise to power and subsequent battles with the Lancastrians. Lots of politics both national and with France and Burgundy is described too. Ironically these people living 600 years ago travelled around the UK more frequently and widely than I ever have. I don't understand one of the other reviewers here who criticises the author for being slightly non-committal on some aspects of the story. It is clear, that from the available sources of contemporary literature, the exact nature of what took place can be difficult to pin down with any degree of certainty. I'd rather the author point out why a certain source could be coloured by personal opinion, rather than paint over it with a definitive, "this is what happened". No, it is evident throughout the book that this chap has done his research well, and his ability to tell a story is first class. Thank you for getting me interested in British history again.

I see from the other reviews that this is his first book. I too shall be keeping an eye out for his second.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. P. Pogmore on 25 Feb 2010
Format: Hardcover
This has to be the best book on Edward IV I have read. The author concentrates on Edward during the most effective period of his life. There is no distraction about whether he was legitimate, committed bigamy, was an idle womaniser or what happened to his son's. This book puts Edward where he belongs as one of our greatest and most inspirational warrior kings. It illustrates his coolness and determination during the struggle with the Earl of Warwick as to who should really rule and his abilities as a leader. At last we have a book about the true Edward. highly recommended

Pauline Harrison Pogmore
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. J. Greenland on 4 Jun 2011
Format: Hardcover
David Santiuste has written his debut book on Edward IV's role in the Wars of the Roses very well. It's well researched, dripping with detail and although being scholarly does not commit the crime of not being easily readable as some scholarly accounts are guilty of. Being around 200 pages it's a nice quick read. It shys away from all the gossip surrounding his reign and centres on his political and military role, especially his relationship with Warwick. However, while Santiuste correctly stops his coverage of the wars at 1471, he continues with events that are rather irrelevant, for example the 1475 invasion of France. Despite this it's a compulsory purchase, in my opinion.

I look forward to more from this author.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Langwith on 2 Mar 2010
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book. It seems to be the authors first, and I will certainly be on the lookout for others by him in the future! It's written in a way that is companionable as well as being erudite. The level of detail is impressive, and the research clearly thorough, but the narrative is never submerged by it; Santiuste has a clear sense of the story he wishes to tell and guides us through a mass of information and competing hypotheses with assured skill and no little flair. He doesn't seem to force the evidence to conform to any preconceived theory, though, and is not afraid to say when the detail of an event is uncertain, or when the motive for an action can only ever be a matter for speculation, and it's refreshing to hear from a historian who is prepared to advance his own point of view with authority without claiming omniscience!
The period of the Wars of the Roses must be one of the most fascinating in all British history, and this book paints it for us in vivid colours while thoroughly re-examining and redefining Edward IV's role and military reputation. I liked the way it gave due credit to Edward's political astuteness and capacity to compromise and forgive. We get the impression of a leader whose warring prowess was founded on more measured qualities than the militaristic belligerence that has often garnered greater rewards from history for lesser kings. Well worth reading - both for those already familiar with the history of this period and with Edward's story, and for those who are not!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tony on 14 Mar 2014
Format: Hardcover
How much do you really know about King Edward IV? If, like me, you were intrigued to find out more about the strangely two dimensional husband of the BBC’s ‘White Queen,’ then David Santiuste’s book is a great place to start. Fast paced and well researched, this book challenges the established views of Edward Plantagenet. New perspectives are offered by setting the generally accepted accounts of chroniclers firmly in the context of their time.

Everything his predecessor Henry VI had failed to be, Edward was over six foot tall and charismatic, a true warrior knight. He is often portrayed as a womaniser, manipulated by others, yet David reminds us that many of the criticisms of him can be traced to his young brother, Richard III. I was particularly interested in his complex relationship with the Earl of Warwick which was so central to any understanding of the Wars of the Roses.

His marriage to Elizabeth Woodville is typical of Edward’s very modern way of doing things. There is no mystery - he married for love, fully aware of the consequences. Now being described as one of the most successful medieval kings, Edward IV saw the wisdom of appointing people on merit and, after the Battle of Barnet, presided over twelve years of peace and prosperity.

I highly recommend Edward IV and the Wars of the Roses to anyone who would like to understand more about this enigmatic king and this fascinating period of English history.
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