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The Last White Rose: The Secret Wars of the Tudors Hardcover – 16 Sep 2010
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The Last White Rose is history as it should be written: without hindsight or embellishment, but with erudition and a sense of immediacy that makes it a gripping and original read. (Jessie Childs, author of Henry VIII’s Last Victim)
A vivid and compelling account of a neglected aspect of Tudor history. (Linda Porter, author of Katherine Parr)
Gripping and enthralling . . . no writer of fiction, however imaginative, could dream up more spell binding plots than what actually happened, so skilfully recounted here. (Robert Hutchinson, The Last Days of Henry VIII)
A worthwhile addition. (The Field)
The best and richest modern narrative history of the fiercely complex War of the Roses. (Military Times)
Fans of the period will love this investigation. (Family History Monthly)
An entertaining and valuable exploration of the early Tudor period. (Literary Review)
A fluent, well-researched book. (Catholic Herald)
Full of intriguing detail. (Times Literary Supplement)
Riveting. (Good Book Guide)
A brilliant new interpretation of one of the most dramatic periods of British history: The Tudors and their Dynasty.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
In truth, though, my respect for the author melted away when I read his assertion that Elizabeth Woodville 'had made her peace with King Richard, the murderer of her sons', as if his guilt was a proven fact and not something that has kept professional and amateur historians arguing for the last hundred years or so. It is the norm for historians,even those that do believe Richard III was guilty of having his nephews put to death, to deliver their opinion as just that, an opinion based on their reading of the little evidence that remains. Not so Desmond Seward, who is happy to pass off his personal conviction of Richard's guilt as historical fact. I'm afraid that as far as I'm concerned, it really won't do and so my copy of The Last White Rose will be heading for a charity shop very soon.
Despite Henry VII's attempt to portray his marriage to Elizabeth of York as the union between the Houses of York and Lancaster, the loyalties of those who fought for thirty years for the Yorkists did not die but passed on to their descendents. Seward has used contemporary sources (such as the Letters and Papers of the Reign of Henry VIII) to claim that Yorkist pretenders were able to claim on a sizeable body of people when they contested the legitimacy of Tudor dynasty. However, it must be said that during the massive upheavals of the rule of that House the support for a Yorkist overthrow of the Tudors does not seem to have been supported by a majority of the English.
I do not think the elimination by the Tudors of the remaining Yorkists is surprising or to be condemned. Had the Yorkists prevailed in the Wars of the Roses they would not have acted any differently in trying to secure the throne for themselves and their posterity.