The Wars of the Roses

The Wars of the Roses : Politics and the Constitution in England, C.1437-1509

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This is a new interpretation of English politics during the extended period beginning with the majority of Henry VI in c. 1437 up to the accession of Henry VII in 1509. The later fifteenth century in England is a somewhat baffling and apparently incoherent period which historians and history students have found consistently difficult to handle. The large-scale 'revisionism' inspired by the classic work of K. B. McFarlane led to the first real work on politics, both national and local, but has left the period in a disjointed state: much material has been unearthed, but without any real sense of direction or coherence. This book places the events of the century within a clearly delineated framework of constitutional structures, practices and expectations, in an attempt to show the meaning of the apparently frenetic and purposeless political events which occurred within that framework - and which sometimes breached it. At the same time it takes cognisance of all the work that has been done on the period, including recent and innovative work on Henry more

Product details

  • Online resource
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2 maps
  • 1139163582
  • 9781139163583

Review quote

'... this is a very important book which challenges many of the orthodoxies prevalent in late-medieval studies. By building on recent research, it brings important new ideas to a wider audience and skilfully combines an understanding of both the national and local dimensions of politics. It will doubtless set the agenda for future research for some years to come.' The Ricardianshow more

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. Sources and historiography; 2. The governance of England in the fifteenth century (i); 3. The governance of England in the fifteenth century (ii); 4. The Lancastrian kings to c. 1437; 5. Henry VI's adult rule: the first phase c. 1437-50; 6. The road to war: 1450-55; 7. The end of Lancastrian rule: 1455-61; 8. Edward IV's first reign: 1461-71; 9. The triumph of York: 1471-83; 10. Richard III and the end of Yorkist rule: 1483-5; 11. Henry VII and the end of the wars: 1485-1509; 12. Conclusions; Bibliographical more