Spartacus Review

Volume 55: 26th October, 2011

The Tudors

Title: The Wars of the Roses

Author: Peter Bramley


Publisher: History Press

Price: £16.99

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: Henry VII


From 1450 to 1487 the whole political fabric of England was shaken by a series of military conflicts between the rival Plantagenet houses of York and Lancaster now known as the Wars of the Roses. Spanning the reigns of five kings - only two of whom died at home - these wars were packed with political and military drama. This struggle for the crown of England was dominated by such towering personalities as Queen Margaret of Anjou, wife of Lancastrian King Henry VI; the blue-blooded Beauforts and Henry Tudor; Yorkist Kings Edward IV and Richard III; and the Neville clan led by Warwick the Kingmaker. This new updated edition of Peter Bramley's beautifully illustrated book focuses on the rich legacy of physical remains associated with these wars, which have survived for over 500 years in the form of castles, battlefields, houses, church brasses and tombs. A veritable treasure trove of information, this unusual guidebook provides details of the events and people linked with each historical site, together with background on the wars' causes, main events and the personalities involved. The guide is arranged by region and covers the whole of England and Wales - for the wars were not a geographic contest between Yorkshire and Lancashire but involved peers, gentry and retainers from all over the country. There are plenty of sites to visit in the south - for example Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, site of the key battle in 1471 where Edward IV destroyed the Lancastrians, and Long Melford in Suffolk where the church contains fabulous stained glass of local participants in the wars. A Companion & Guide to The Wars of the Roses will appeal to those who find that visiting a historical site brings life and colour to the period.