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  1. Publisher's Summary
  2. A Brief History of the Wars of the Roses Audiobook | Desmond Seward |
  3. Wars of the Roses 1455-1487
  4. The Wars of the Roses: Through the Lives of Five Men and Women of the Fifteenth Century
  5. 1. The seeds of war were sewn as far back as 1399

This is a very, very, eclectic and short list. There are more books on the Wars of the Roses than flies on a pile of poo.

Publisher's Summary

But these are the few that I have found to be the most helpful. To these below, I acknowledge my debt. But I have used them freely. I hate to be maudlin, but the pictures from ladybird books fired my imagination as a nipper, and many of them as as fresh in my minds as they ever were.

Archers climbing over the wall in St Albans, for example. He takes a view that is sympathetic to Edward, without some of the more extravagant claim. Written to entertain, but authoritative to boot.

A Brief History of the Wars of the Roses Audiobook | Desmond Seward |

And it does go way overboard on the foreign diplomacy, which gets tiresome. I like it. This is the wars of the Roses in pages. If you need to get to the guts of it — this is the one.

Symbols and Symbolism in the Wars of the Roses

If you have an essay to write and unfortunately have to hand it in at 9 am, made a decision to spend the evening playing poker til 2am, this is the book to turn to. I love the entire lending library system, and weep every time I hear of more funding cutbacks. I admit that I am a nerd. I weep.

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But it has been worth every penny. If you want edited original sources this is just the best place to go. I would never be able to quote original sources without it. In two undergraduate and one masters degree, I can say that he was the most dynamic lecturer I ever had. The Yorkists attempted to persuade Parliament to set aside Henry and declare Richard of York as King but they failed to secure enough backing for an immediate coronation.

Unsurprisingly Henry's Queen - Margaret of Anjou - opposed this move and raised an army at Pontefract Castle to reverse the coup. Richard moved north to deal with the new Lancastrian threat. As Duke of York, Richard had extensive estates in Yorkshire. One of his primary centres was Sandal Castle near Wakefield which was just nine miles from the Lancastrian base at Pontefract. Edward arrived at Sandal on 21 December and made an initial sortie towards Pontefract. However, he found the Lancastrian forces were too strong and he returned to Sandal to await the arrival of his eldest son, Edward later Edward IV , with reinforcements.

Wars of the Roses 1455-1487

The precise size and configuration of the army is unknown but the key leaders included a number of experienced military commanders. Crucially a number of leading magnates were determined to get revenge. The Yorkist forces were under the command of Richard, Duke of York.

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The size of his army is also unknown but it was significantly smaller than those available to the Lancastrians especially as a portion may have been dispersed foraging for supplies. The Yorkist force included the Earl of Salisbury, an experienced military commander who had served as Warden of the West March and fought at the Battle of Blore Heath Safe within the impenetrable defences of Sandal Castle , Richard knew that a Lancastrian force was in the immediate vicinity and he was almost certainly aware that it outnumbered his own.

Nevertheless, he marched his men out from the safety of the castle and advanced down Manygates Lane to intercept them. What prompted this seemingly rash action is not known. One argument is that Sandal Castle was short of supplies and Richard may have felt he would have better fortunes in an open conflict than during a protracted siege.

Accordingly Richard was probably tempted out by subterfuge. A contemporary chronicler, Jean de Wavrin, wrote that this was initiated by Sir Andrew Trollope who sent a series of men to Sandal feigning as deserters and suggesting he was about to change sides. An alternative suggestion is that the Lancastrians tempted him out by marching a small portion of their army near the castle which perhaps led Richard to believe he could engage and defeat a portion of the opposing force.

It is also possible Richard misinterpreted the approach of John Neville of Raby, a Lancastrian, as the arrival of Yorkist forces under the Earl of Warwick. Regardless of what had prompted Richard to deploy, his forces engaged the Lancastrians at the bottom of the hill below Sandal Castle. Little is known about the battle but the terrain effectively concealed the bulk of the opposing forces.

The Wars of the Roses: Through the Lives of Five Men and Women of the Fifteenth Century

Emerging from this cover, the Lancastrians set upon Richard's men from all sides cutting them off from Sandal Castle and slaughtering them. Perhaps as many as 2, Yorkist troops were massacred compared to only Lancastrians. Richard was one of those killed as was his second eldest son, Edmund, Earl of Rutland. The Earl of Salisbury escaped the battlefield but was later captured and taken to Pontefract Castle.

However, the following day he was dragged out by the Duke of Exeter's half brother and beheaded. The battle of Wakefield did nothing to advance the Lancastrian cause despite the death of Richard, Duke of York. Instead, the savagery was exaggerated by the Yorkists for their own propaganda purposes. One such embellishment was that the Duke of York was captured alive and made to stand on a molehill where he was crowned with bulrushes before being beheaded.

Another story suggests that the teenage Earl of Rutland begged Lord Clifford for his life before being stabbed by the magnate. These stories fuelled anti-Lancastrian sentiment in London and generated significant sympathy for the Yorkist cause. Following Richard's death, his eldest son Edward assumed both the mantle as Duke of York and the attempt to seize the throne. He was a most able military commander and achieved immediate victories at Mortimer's Cross 2 February and Towton 29 March These successes, alongside the support of the city of London, secured Edward the throne.

However, his dynasty did not survive him as after his death in his brother - Richard, Duke of Gloucester - declared his sons illegitimate and took the throne himself.

1. The seeds of war were sewn as far back as 1399

Richard was then defeated and killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field after which the throne was taken by Henry Tudor. Beresford, M. W and St Joseph, J. S Medieval England - An Aerial Study. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Cyprien, M and Fairbairn, N A Traveller's Guide to the Battlefields of Britain. Evans Brothers Ltd, London.

Dockray, K Dodds, G. L Battles in Britain Douglas, D. C and Myers, A. R ed English Historical Documents Vol 5 Routledge, London. Green, H Guide to the Battlefields of Britain and Ireland. Constable, London.

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Haigh, P. A T he Battle of Wakefield, 30 December Sutton, Stroud. Military campaigns of the Wars of the Roses. Kinross, J The Battlefields of Britain. Lancaster, J. D Wakefield : Battlefield visit notes and observations. Ordnance Survey