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The Wars of the Roses Library Binding – 26 Jun 2008


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Product details

  • Library Binding
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439506906
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439506905
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 941,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Weir provides immense satisfaction. She writes in a pacy, vivid style, engaging the heart as well as the mind." (Independent)

"A joy to read." (Economist) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A riveting account of the Wars of the Roses, focusing on the human side of the story. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Chris J. Newman on 10 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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I began this book with some trepidation having struggled a little with Alison Weir's Katherine Swynford: The Story of John of Gaunt and His Scandalous Duchess. The problem I had with that story was not in its telling but in the lack of firm factual information to base it on. Her story of Lancaster and York has no such shortfall.

This is a brilliantly researched and highly readable account of a very complex saga. I have read many other books about and touching on the War of the Roses, but I don't think any of them surpassed this telling of the tale, and I can think of only one has equalled it - namely Paul Kendall's Richard III.

Having just read Juliet Barker's Agincourt: The King, the Campaign, the Battle, I was struck by one or two inconsistencies in minor detail between the two books - for instance, Barker's statement that English knights always dismounted and fought battles beside their infantrymen, whereas Alison Weir states the opposite. Barker also depicts Henry V as merciful towards French civilians during his 1415 campaign of conquest, whereas Weir presents him as the complete opposite. No doubt history is full of such conundrums and divergences in interpretation.

Anyway, I have nothing but praise for Lancaster And York: The Wars of the Roses.
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95 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. A. Cure VINE VOICE on 3 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an incredibly important work, as despite there being a stack of books covering the period of the Wars of the Roses, no other gives a clear and concise background to the conflict (and such information is vital in understanding why it occurred), and there are few others that are as thorough in their approach, without descending into academic jargon.
I should point out that this deals primarily with the background from Edward III to Henry VI's reign, and then focuses upon the years 1455 to 1471, in other words, finishing with Henry VI's capture and murder after Tewkesbury. It is true that the conflict was to continue until Bosworth in 1485 (and technically until 1487), but I believe she has had other volumes dealing with these years.
I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone with an interest in late medieval England, and the Wars of the Roses, as it caters for most levels of knowledge, and deals with the characters behind the violence and politics. It is very well written, and as gripping as I have ever found a history text to be.
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71 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Edward Rex on 5 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
Alison Weir is a great historian and in Lancaster and York: The Wars of the Roses she has left us the greatest history there is of this civil war which spanned thirty gurling years and torn two royal houses apart.

Weir begins at the source of the many claiments to the English Crown: Edward III abd his many adult sons. This was not a problem at first, she states, but in 1399, when Henry Bolingbroke, son of Edward III's third eldest son John of Gaunt, deposed Richard II and claimed the throne as Henry IV, it now showed that a bloodclaim and force were all that were needed to seize the throne, and as Weir explains, these would envoke dire conquences in the next century.

Weir succeded in mapping out a great history of a really important war that stood England on its head for a while. The Lancastrians-Henry VI, Margret of Anjou, Edward, Prince of Wales as well as the dukes of Somerset and Suffolk-as well as the Yorkists-Richard, duke of York, Edward IV, Elizabeth Woodville, and Richard III are all well placed to make their empacts on English history.

Weir succeeded brillantly. She read all the records and she made this period of English history come alive. This book was also very readable. A very well written book, and a good history
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Deborah on 26 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this very much. I found it much easier to read than Weir's book on Isabella of France, and it filled what turned out to be huge gaps in my knowledge - I always thought I had a pretty good grasp on the history of the Plantagenets, but the reign (or reigns) of Henry VI was something about which I turned out to know nothing at all, apart from the fact that he became king while still a baby. It was fascinating to read and Weir presents this confusing chain of events with its huge cast of characters in a way that I found interesting and even absorbing in places. But I am going to have to read some more on the subject to find out whether Margaret of Anjou was a bad as Weir makes her out to be. By the time I finished reading Isabella of France, I could not believe that Isabella was as misunderstood and maligned as Weir made her out to be. As a result, by the time I finished reading the Wars of the Roses, I was not sure whether to trust the presentation of Margaret of Anjou as so very much to blame as she appears in this book. It may be that she was, but I don't feel that I can accept only Weir's word for it, which is a great shame. But then I suppose readers of history should never rely on only one source for their interpretation of events and characters. It was still a 4-star book for me, and I shall definitely keep it for reference and re-reading.

One point about presentation - the family trees were a necessity for me and I referred to them frequently to double-check who was who. I understand that from a stylistic point of view it might've been thought attractive to present them as though hand-written, but I found the font very hard to read, particularly some of the dates.
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