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Warwick the Kingmaker Hardcover – 31 Aug 1998

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (31 Aug. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631162593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631162599
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.4 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,192,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"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.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A Warwick! A Warwick! Mr. Hicks work should be applauded. While the beginning of the book is very academic, in verse and research, it attempts look at Richard Neville, 16th Earl Warwick and Kingmaker, as a whole person. Hicks looks back on both primary and some secondary sources, makes some assumptions, buts overall lets the reader decide on Warwick's character. He notes the mixed temperament of 15th Century English - some hated Warwick, many more loved him. As a self proclaimed scholar of Neville, I have to highly recommend this work - along with four other titles entitled "Warwick" or "Kingmaker", all of which are out of print.
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Format: Paperback
I must admit it's a while since I read this but I struggled with it. It came over as a long list of Warwick's lands, honours, charters, etc, but I don't recall seeing the larger-than-life, charismatic history changing man he must have been emerge from the pages. Many men at various times supported him, fought for him and died for him, no matter which side he was on at the time and I would have liked a glimpse of why that was (or may have been) among the litany of charters he signed and letters he wrote to the King of France.
Two stars for exhaustive research but nothing for bringing a fascinating man to life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very in depth book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x880b89c0) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8818fc54) out of 5 stars Poorly Written and Researched 21 May 2013
By FYI - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The sum of a life is more than a series of vague factoids. This book, written in 1998, promises a new evaluation of the charismatic, doomed "Kingmaker," Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, (22 November 1428 - 14 April 1471). Yet what Hicks succeeds in doing is repeating tidbits derived from fusty, outdated, Tudor-biased volumes, and a massive amount of self-citation; the author frequently indulges in citing/quoting himself as a primary source. For example, Hicks calls the Neville family history "largely fictional" (Hicks 1998:12); his source for this "fact" is a journal article he wrote some years ago. Hicks' genealogy of Neville is a jumble, marginal at best. Yet with any adequate research, it is not difficult to trace and verify that Richard Neville was directly descended from Uchtred the Bold, ealdorman of Northumbria from 1006 to 1016. Uchtred was the son of Waltheof I, of Bamburgh castle on the Northumbrian coast, descended from ancient Scottish/Pictish royalty via Crinan of Dunkeld (ancestor of the Scottish royal House of Dunkeld). Uchtred married Ælfgifu, the daughter of King Ethelred II (great-great grandson of King Alfred the Great). This powerful family became "Neville" with the marriage to the Norman heiress Isabel de Néville. The Nevilles ruled Northumbria, and married into and sparred with the Percy family (oddly referred to by Hicks as "Percies" in plural, as if they are a city or thing). This northern pedigree tremendously impacted Richard Neville's sense of himself, his identity, and wielding of power on the battlefield and off. This sense of entitlement and birthright was also increased via multiple lines of Plantagenet heritage via King Edward I, through King Edward III, and John of Gaunt.

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.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x880c1588) out of 5 stars Great Biography of the War of the Rose's central figure 4 Jan. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A Warwick! A Warwick! Mr. Hicks work should be applauded. While the beginning of the book is very academic, in verse and research, it attempts look at Richard Neville, 16th Earl Warwick and Kingmaker, as a whole person. Hicks looks back on both primary and some secondary sources, makes some assumptions, buts overall lets the reader decide on Warwick's character. He notes the mixed temperament of 15th Century English - some hated Warwick, many more loved him. As a self proclaimed scholar of Neville, I have to highly recommend this work - along with four other titles entitled "Warwick" or "Kingmaker", all of which are out of print.
HASH(0x88086e7c) out of 5 stars Wonderful for the historian/specialist 16 Nov. 2013
By enkilm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very informative can be somewhat tangled and obscure,needs better geneological connections and a glossary of some obscure medieval terms and meanings,very erudite and great for the historian/specialist of this period.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88086e70) out of 5 stars GOOD HISTORY 11 April 2013
By bar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read both Warwick the Kingmaker by Paul Kendall and this one by Michael Hicks. Both are excellent reads being well researched and well written. Kendall's is more in line with historical fiction and Hicks a non fiction history. The edition that I selected for Hicks has a lot of family charts which were very helpful, since there are so many characters and so many blood related.
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