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The Wars of the Roses af John Gillingham
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The Wars of the Roses (original 1981; udgave 2001)

af John Gillingham

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
231791,104 (3.7)3
It was the period when the French beat the English and the English fought among themselves. Traditional historians have glossed over it, considering it the time that wrecked Britain's military greatness. But Gillingham elegantly separates myth from reality, arguing that, paradoxically, the wars actually proved how peaceful the country was. His gifted graphic description makes this exciting and dramatic throughout. "Incisively written and highly readable."--Sunday Times. "Gillingham informs us...with such verve, with and intelligence that we are left dazzled and delighted."--History.… (mere)
Medlem:brianfstevenson
Titel:The Wars of the Roses
Forfattere:John Gillingham
Info:London : Phoenix, 2001.
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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The Wars of the Roses af John Gillingham (1981)

  1. 00
    The Wars of the Roses: A Concise History af Charles Derek Ross (waltzmn)
    waltzmn: The Wars of the Roses have been the subject of immense scholarly interest, but quality general histories are few and far between. Charles Ross's history is short -- too short, given Ross's ability to produce a vivid tale. It is still perhaps the best general overview available.… (mere)
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Thanks in no small measure to William Shakespeare, the Wars of the Roses looms large in the English historical imagination. For many, its factional conflicts between various noble families serves as a demarcation between the England of the Middle Ages and the era of the Tudors that began with Henry VII's victory over Richard III at the battle of Bosworth Field. Yet at John Gillingham argues, these events and their legacy is often misunderstood in terms of their scope and their legacy. As he demonstrates in this book, the wars themselves were not some epoch-ending bloodbath but a series of factional fights that were not atypical of English politics during that era.

Gillingham sees the Wars of the Roses not as one conflict but as three distinct, though related, ones. The first was that spawned by the failings of Henry VI as king, who was unable to maintain England's position in France and who proved equally inept in his ability to govern at home. Henry's rule was challenged by Richard, Duke of York, who had served as Protector of the Realm during Henry's breakdown in the autumn of 1453. Though Richard died in the open warfare that resulted from this struggle, his son Edward captured Henry and replaced him as king. The second conflict arose from the discontent of Edward's supporter Richard Neville, the earl of Warwick, who, disappointed in his expectation of ruling England form behind Edward's throne, rose up in rebellion. While Warwick succeeded in temporarily restoring Henry to the throne, the Lancastrians suffered a crippling defeat at the battle of Tewkesbury, with the death of Henry's soon followed by the murder of Henry himself. This may have been the end of the wars but for the "murderous ambition" of Edward's brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who after Edward's death in 1483 used his position as regent to seize power from Edward's son, only to die in battle at Bosworth Field two years later.

All of this Gillingham describes in an efficient narrative that is candid in its limitations. He makes it clear that there is much about the era that remains a mystery to us, as the limited sources available even make it difficult to know much about some of the famous battles of the period beyond their outcome. Gillingham goes far in filling in the gaps, using reasonable supposition supported by a solid command of the politics and the military science of the era. His narrative itself is reasonably straightforward, though it is hampered by the large number of people involved, most of whom are not very clearly defined, which makes it difficult to distinguish them in the narrative as a result. Nevertheless, his book serves as a solid overview of the Wars of the Roses, one that succeeds in sifting the reality from the myths and legends that have contributed to our misunderstandings of the conflict and its significance to English history. ( )
  MacDad | Mar 27, 2020 |
A reappraisal of the Wars of the Roses period, focusing on the overall stability of the time punctuated by brief and small-scale moments of outright conflict. A fascinating take on the times. ( )
  JBD1 | Dec 30, 2016 |
The author says there were three wars. The first was the downfall of Henry VI and the triumph of the York Party headed by Edward IV. The second is the revolt of Warwick and Edward IV's comeback and triumph over Warwick. The third is the usurpation of the throne by Richard III and his eventual downfall to Henry Tudor who becomes Henry VII. The author's focus is the battles. Although documents are scarce the author does a yeoman like job in recreating the battles. I was especially interested in the fact that even though Richard III rewarded his followers very well people like Lord Stanley deserted him in his hour of need. He was unable to keep followers unlike his brother Edward IV. ( )
  jerry-book | Jan 26, 2016 |
Well it is true that the publisher and the author take some care to explain that this is an account of the Wars of the Roses from the perspective of the military campaigns, but it is definitely much more than a military history. In fact the author's main theme is that in England, at this time, warfare was very contained, and was very much an extension of power and family politics. So, for example, the building and betrayal of alliances continued up to the point of battle, and even during battles, and in many cases the outcome of a battle might see the victor and the defeated make an alliance against parties within their own camps. This was not 'total war' as practised in modern times, but even more importantly this was not the type of wars between States involving the devastation of populations and regions that was rife in Europe at the time. One has to be cautious about drawing conclusions about the fate of the common soldier in such battles, and the effects of the countryside they operated in, given the tendency of history to ignore the story of the 'little people', but the evidence is put forward here that, except in some rare instances, the 'gentry' generally restricted themselves to killing each other, and the death toll in the King's courts and prisons competed strongly with those who fell in battle. That said, there is a well documented history of almost continual 'peasant' rebellions that runs in the background of this story, and ironically one of the constraints on the nobles interest in launching 'total war' was their shared mistrust of the attitude of the general population if armed and given the opportunity to plunder the towns and cities. All that said, the author has given as clear (and succinct) an account as I've ever read of the political landscape of England between the death of Edward III and the final success of Henry VII. Highly recommended. ( )
  nandadevi | May 29, 2015 |
This is a telling of the Wars of the Roses mostly through the battles that were fought. While it was very interesting it was also a bit dry at times. The author does a good job of using different sources and makes sure to state when he is using only one to tell of events in case of any bias in the information. I also think that having a prior working knowledge of the events really helped in the reading and if I hadn't known what was going on I might have become lost in all the names, dates, and locations. ( )
  RockStarNinja | Dec 20, 2011 |
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There have been many studies of the Wars of the Roses, but none which have concentrated on the wars themselves.
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It was the period when the French beat the English and the English fought among themselves. Traditional historians have glossed over it, considering it the time that wrecked Britain's military greatness. But Gillingham elegantly separates myth from reality, arguing that, paradoxically, the wars actually proved how peaceful the country was. His gifted graphic description makes this exciting and dramatic throughout. "Incisively written and highly readable."--Sunday Times. "Gillingham informs us...with such verve, with and intelligence that we are left dazzled and delighted."--History.

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