Book Cover

The Wars of the Roses

by John Gillingham  

Frequently remembered only as a period of military history which both saw the French beat the English and then the English fight amongst themselves, traditional historians have tended to regard The Wars of the Roses as an episode that wrecked England’s military greatness.

John Gillingham’s highly readable history separates the myth from the reality.

He argues that, paradoxically, the Wars of the Roses demonstrate how peaceful England in fact was.

From the accession of the infant Henry VI to the thrones of England and France in 1422 to the accession of Henry VII following the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, Gillingham uses his gift for graphic description (particularly with his exciting account of the 1471 campaign) to great effect.

He is also good at placing the warfare within its European context, especially in showing the problems encountered in conducting a civil war within a normally peaceful country.

The Wars of the Roses is an irresistible account of a fascinating period of history that makes available to a much wider audience the work of historians of recent decades.

Praise for John Gillingham

‘Incisively written and highly readable’ – Sunday Times

John Gillingham is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. On 19 July 2007 he was elected into the Fellowship of the British Academy. He is renowned as an expert on the Angevin empire. His other titles include Oliver Cromwell: Portrait of a Soldier.

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