Post-classical history

The Last White Rose: The Secret Wars of the Tudors

The Last White Rose: The Secret Wars of the Tudors

A brilliant new interpretation of one of the most dramatic periods of British history. The Wars of the Roses didn't end at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. Despite the death of Richard III and Henry VII's victory, it continued underground into the following century with plots, pretenders and subterfuge by the ousted white rose faction. In a brand new interpretation of this turning point in history, well known historian Desmond Seward reviews the story of the Tudors' seizure of the throne and shows that for many years they were far from secure. He challenges the way we look at the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII, explaining why there were so many Yorkist pretenders and conspiracies, and why the new dynasty had such difficulty establishing itself. King Richard's nephews, the Earl of Warwick and the little known de la Pole brothers, all had the support of dangerous enemies overseas, while England was split when the lowly Perkin Warbeck skilfully impersonated one of the princes in the tower in order to claim the right to the throne. Warwick's surviving sister Margaret also became the desperate focus of hopes that the White Rose would be reborn. The book also offers a new perspective on why Henry VIII, constantly threatened by treachery, real or imagined, and desperate to secure his power with a male heir, became a tyrant. Praise for Desmond Seward's A Brief History of the War of the Roses: 'It is hard to imagine a historian more in command of his subject... The result is history as compelling as any novel' Independent 'This is a splendidly and vividly written book.' Evening Standard A Brief History of the Hundred Years Wars: 'A well-written narrative, beautifully illustrated, and which takes into account most recent scholarship. It is also a good read.' Richard Cobb, New Statesman

Genealogy tree

Overview: The White Rose, 1485–1547

PART 1: Henry VII and the White Rose

Chapter 1. Autumn 1485: ‘this woeful season’

Chapter 2. Easter 1486: Lord Lovell and the Stafford Brothers

Chapter 3. Early 1487: Margaret of York

Chapter 4. Summer 1487: ‘Stoke Field’

Chapter 5. Winter 1489–90: The Conscience of Abbot Sant

Chapter 6. Winter 1491–Autumn 1494: One of the Princes in the Tower?

Chapter 7. January 1495: The Lord Chamberlain is a Traitor

Chapter 8. Summer 1495: The Yorkist Invasion

Chapter 9. Autumn 1495–Summer 1497: The Scots and the Cornish

Chapter 10. March 1496: The Grand Prior Plans to Poison the King

Chapter 11. September 1497: Cornwall Rises for Richard IV

Chapter 12. Autumn 1499: Bringing Down a Curse

Chapter 13. Autumn 1499: Edmund de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk

Chapter 14. Summer 1501: White Rose and White King

Chapter 15. September 1504: A Conversation about the Future

Chapter 16. Winter 1505–6: An Ill Wind

PART 2: Henry VIII and the White Rose

Chapter 17. Spring 1509: A Yorkist Tudor?

Chapter 18. 1513–21: A King over the Water

Chapter 19. 1519–Autumn 1520: The Duke of Buckingham

Chapter 20. Winter 1520–Spring 1521: ‘A Giant Traitor’

Chapter 21. Winter 1524–5: A White Rose Dies

Chapter 22. 1525–35: The White Rose Party

Chapter 23. 1533–4: Rebellion?

Chapter 24. 1535–6: The Lady Mary and the White Rose

Chapter 25. Summer 1535: A New White Rose?

Chapter 26. Autumn 1536: The Pilgrimage of Grace

Chapter 27. Spring–Summer 1537: ‘Mr Pole’s Traitorous Practises’

Chapter 28. Autumn 1538: The ‘Exeter Conspiracy’

Chapter 29. Winter 1538–Summer 1539: Cardinal Pole’s Last Throw

Chapter 30. May 1541: The Death of the Last Plantagenet

Chapter 31. Winter 1546–7: Henry VIII’s Final Phobia