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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect introduction
My interest in the Wars of the Roses was actually sparked by Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies (both excellent novels by the way), so for good measure I resolved to read up on the period before that first and only then start reading some more about the Tudors themselves, and particularly Henry VIII (I recently read the marvellous Winter King: Henry VII and...
Published 12 months ago by Didier

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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Puts me off history
Old fashioned historian unable to write a history without obscure aside and references to other historians work. If I wanted to read their books I would have. Manages to make a fascinating period of history extremely dull. Couldn't finish it. History is just that 'a story' but most historians seem unable to grasp this simple fact and put the story across. I'm better off...
Published 7 months ago by M. Hoare


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect introduction, 1 April 2013
By 
Didier (Ghent, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Short History of the Wars of the Roses (I.B. Tauris Short Histories) (Paperback)
My interest in the Wars of the Roses was actually sparked by Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies (both excellent novels by the way), so for good measure I resolved to read up on the period before that first and only then start reading some more about the Tudors themselves, and particularly Henry VIII (I recently read the marvellous Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England, so I'm already acquainted so to speak with Henry VIII's father).

It turned out that there's a vast choice in non-fiction about the Wars of the Roses, and all reviews seem to agree on one thing: it's an intricate part of English history. Having said that, I think David Grummit's book on the one hand confirmed this, but on the other hand definitely clarified a lot. It was perhaps initially conceived rather as a book for students, but it works excellent for amateur enthousiasts as well in my opinion. First of all, there's a very clear structure: after the introduction (with a list of 'dramatis personae', a timeline and 3 family trees), the book is divided into 3 parts:
- Part 1: Causes (about the Lancastrian legacy, the deposition of Richard II and the reign of Henry IV)
- Part 2: Course (itself nicely parceled into chapters about the First War (1459-64), the Second War (1469-71) and the Third War (1483-87))
- Part 3: Consequences (about the impact of the Wars in general and on political culture specifically)
At the end of the book there's also a very helpful bibliography for further reading.

Apart from that Grummitt writes in a very clear and succinct style, and he keeps the story moving along at a brisk pace (one has to I guess, if one's aim is to summarize the Wars of the Roses into a mere 182 pages).

One could argue that, having never before read anything on the wars of the Roses, I'm hardly in a position to judge whether Grummit has indeed succeeded in writing the 'perfect introduction', but to me it felt as such, since upon having finished it I felt informed about the principal characters and events, and more importantly still, the political and socio-economic causes and consequences of this fascinating period. And on top of that it inspired me to read on, so now it's on to Lancaster And York: The Wars of the Roses.

So therefore: heartily recommended!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Read; Marvellous History, 16 Nov 2012
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This review is from: A Short History of the Wars of the Roses (I.B. Tauris Short Histories) (Paperback)
In 'A Short History of the Wars of the Roses', Dr David Grummitt accomplishes the impossible, or at least the improbable: he thoroughly yet succinctly describes the complex people and events surrounding the Wars of the Roses within their historical context in an elegant but profoundly readable prose. It is a superb book for either those who have never before learned about this intriguing period of English history or those who think that they know it all. Excellent writing; impeccable scholarship. First-rate all around.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 8 Oct 2013
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This review is from: A Short History of the Wars of the Roses (I.B. Tauris Short Histories) (Paperback)
Brilliant book, understandably and clearly written for someone with only a little knowledge of this period. Just the right level of detail.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wars of the Roses, 29 July 2013
By 
M. R. Tilling - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Short History of the Wars of the Roses (I.B. Tauris Short Histories) (Paperback)
A useful book helping to fill in those details about the Wars of the Roses you don't often see in books about the wars.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A window into the 15C., 12 April 2013
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This review is from: A Short History of the Wars of the Roses (I.B. Tauris Short Histories) (Paperback)
As one who enjoyed history at school but with very patchy knowledge of British history this book filled in a gap. Easy and a pleasure to read yet requiring some concentration as the Christian names of participants were frequently shared between generations it provides the wish to look deeper into that period. Was Henry Vl a depressive ? His behaviour might be explained by such.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the roses, 25 Sep 2013
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This review is from: A Short History of the Wars of the Roses (I.B. Tauris Short Histories) (Paperback)
got this after the TV prog the white queen to brush up my history but not read it yet , as always it arrived post haste and in good conditon
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Puts me off history, 4 Sep 2013
By 
M. Hoare (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Short History of the Wars of the Roses (I.B. Tauris Short Histories) (Paperback)
Old fashioned historian unable to write a history without obscure aside and references to other historians work. If I wanted to read their books I would have. Manages to make a fascinating period of history extremely dull. Couldn't finish it. History is just that 'a story' but most historians seem unable to grasp this simple fact and put the story across. I'm better off reading novels about the period.
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