This book will seek to provide a concise view of the subject and must therefore necessarily leave out much of the detail that can be truly fascinating. A few key events or people will be more closely examined to offer a fuller understanding of some of the issues. Should you wish to delve deeper into the subject there is a suggested further reading list at the end of this book.
I am not a professional historian. I am a passionate amateur, but I have always believed that the key to understanding any historical event, period or topic is understanding the people, not least understanding that they were people. Just like you and I they had hopes, dreams, desires, disasters and disappointments that all came together to make the person remembered to history often as a caricature.
This is not a weighty tome; it is an overview of the subject offering some key details and information. I do not frequently reference source material to avoid making the matter thicker than this view is designed to be.
I hope that you will enjoy reading this book as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
Why This Book?
The Wars of the Roses is a fascinating portion of English history. It changed a great deal about England at the time, bringing about the end of the rule of the Plantagenets, still the longest reigning dynasty in British or English history. It paved the way for one of the most famous, and infamous, dynasties in the world, the Tudors. Without the Wars of the Roses, we would never have had cause to hear much about the line descended from a Welsh servant that itself radically altered England forever.
The Wars lasted for most of the second half of the fifteenth century, with occasional outbreaks of peace. The period is named for the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster that disputed the right to the English throne, but there is far more to the story than that. There are around one hundred and fifty species of rose at present, and easily as many disputes, small and large, that contributed to the Wars of the Roses.
With a cast including four kings, characters such as Warwick the Kingmaker, Lady Margaret Beaufort and Thomas, Lord Stanley and with the crown passing back and forth it is a fascinating tale of murder, betrayal, intrigue, love and death. There are unknown fates, reputations that live on today and one of the most contentious kings and alleged crimes in English history.