Warwick the Kingmaker Hardcover – 31 Aug 1998
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"Thoroughly recommended to anyone wanting to make sense of the bloodbath in late medieval English history known as the Wars of the Roses." BBC History Magazine <!––end––>
"Hicks′ book will be the standard work on Warwick." History
"A rewarding essay ... founded on comprehensive research and a profound knowledge of the era which none today can match." History Today
"There is a great deal to admire in this book. It is shrewd and knowledgeable in its judgments, based on a tremendous amount of research, and has a lot of new and interesting things to say about the politics of mid–fifteenth century England." The Medieval Review
"Hicks has made another considerable contribution to our understanding of fifteenth–century England, and this book is sure to be widely read and vigorously discussed." American Historical Review
From the Back Cover
Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, remains one of the most controversial personalities of fifteenth–century England. The archetypal over–mighty subject, he was the dominant figure in the dynastic revolutions at the heart of the fifteenth–century Wars of the Roses. Warwick played a pivotal role first in advancing the Yorkist cause, leading Edward IV to replace the Lancastrian Henry VI in 1461. Then, having lost influence at court, he changed sides and was reversed the process in 1470. Warwick "the Kingmaker" dominated national politics in his various roles as general, admiral, pirate, subaltern, administrator, politician, propagandist, statesman, and diplomat.
This book illuminates Warwick′s character and motivation, showing that he was an emotional, charming, and popular man with a strong sense of family loyalty. It is the first full study of this compelling figure within the context of political life in late medieval England.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Two stars for exhaustive research but nothing for bringing a fascinating man to life.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
A sociocultural perspective is necessary in attempting to understand Richard Neville's complex character and motivations, so pivotal in the War of the Roses. Yet Hicks does not delve deeply into important historical and cultural contexts; he writes in an incoherent jumble around his subject matter, without getting to the core. Hicks' "Kingmaker" is barely a ghost in this book, he is so narrowly represented. Hicks' narrative stops and starts so fitfully that there is very little cohesive momentum; he writes around Neville. The text resembles a series of notes taken down years ago by a young student, and in fact, this is admitted to as a main source by the author, who relies heavily on his old college notes.
Another area oddly remiss is the thin description of Richard's marriage to Anne de Beauchamp, (1426 - 1492). She was a le Despenser, granddaughter of Constance of York, whose mother was the daughter of Isabella of Castile (father, King Peter of Castile). Richard and Anne's younger daughter, Anne Neville, first married Edward, son of King Henry VI. After Edward was killed in battle, Anne was rescued from the home of her older sister, Lady Isabel, (1451 - 1476), whose greedy husband, George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, brother of King Edward IV and King Richard III, desired her funds. In fact she was aided by Richard Plantagenet, then Duke of Gloucester, later King Richard III of England; she married him, becoming the last Plantagenet Queen (described in Anne Neville: Richard III's Tragic Queen). Stories within stories grow here, but Hicks barely touches on the meat and bones of the history, life, and complex political intrigues of Warwick and his fascinating immediate family and descendants. Richard's granddaughter was Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, 1473-1541; she and her family were viciously persecuted by King Henry VIII. Her son, Reginald Pole, was the last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury, instrumental in the Council of Trent.
History is often rewritten by the victorious; the advent of the Tudors secured Richard Neville an insecure and frustratingly elusive inheritance. Edward IV's foolish decisions, his jealousy and insults towards Neville, ultimately resulted in the demise of the Plantagenet dynasty. I recommend other books on the subject, such as Pollard's Warwick the Kingmaker: Politics, Power and Fame during the War of the Roses, and Paul Murray Kendall's Warwick the Kingmaker.
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