The Wars of the Roses were a series of civil wars in England for control over the throne between the supporters of two rival cadet branches of the royal house of Plantagenet: The House of Lancaster, represented by a red rose, and the House of York, represented by a white rose.
Eventually, the wars eliminated the male lines of both the families.
The conflict was spread between the years 1455 and 1487, but there was related fighting between the families before and after this period between the parties.
The power struggle ignited around social and financial troubles following the hundred years of war, unfolding the structural problems of bastard feudalism along with the weak rule of king Henry VI, which revived the interest in the House of York’s claim to the throne by Richard of York.
The main cause of this war is still not agreed upon by historians.
So if you want to know more about this period in history, about this turbulent episode of fifteenth century England, or if you’re simply a history buff, we have compiled a list of books that might be of interest to you.
The Wars of the Roses: Fascinating History of the Fall of Plantagenets and Rise of Tudors (History- Episode)
During the 15th century in England, The Wars of the Roses were a complex set of battles, skirmishes and kidnappings. These wars had their roots in the nearby Civil War of France, which impacted the English politics for several following years.
There is no universally accepted start or end date for these wars. But the major events throughout the wars occurred between 1455 and 1485. The main reason for the Wars of Roses was a tug- of- war between two families for the throne of England. Though both the families were closely related, they had split half a century earlier. Instead of one unified Plantagenet family, the cousins became Lancasters and Yorks.
The book follows the tale of the two families, as they fight for power. How, over the years, the royalist and rebel armies fought throughout the country. How the rebels- led by Richard of York, and then by his son Edward of York- gained and lost the crown multiple times. Fighting continued until both sides eventually lost their grip on the crown, and a brand- new royal dynasty came to power.
The Wars of the Roses (Captivating History)
This book gives a brief overview about the topics closely related to the Wars of Roses. You will read about the history of the House of Plantagenet and the Civil War in France.
You will read the story about treason by the Duke of York, the battle of Northampton and Margaret’s army. You will also learn about the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury and the battle of Bosworth. It includes a brief introduction to the foundation of the Tudor Dynasty and the attempts on the Tudor throne. Lastly, it talks about the legacy of the Wars of Roses.
Overall, this book is a concise overview about a tumultuous period in history, with all the events broken down and in order. Though this book may have some factual errors, it is, nevertheless, a great read.
The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors (Dan Jones)
This book traces history as the crown of England changed possession five times over in the fifteenth century as two branches of the Plantagenet dynasty fought over the right to rule.
This book is a follow- up to The Plantagenets, and describes how the longest- ruling royal family of Britain split up and tore itself apart until it was finally replaced by the Tudors. The story follows some of the greatest heroes and villains in history, from Joan of Arc to Henry V, whose victory at Agincourt marked the high point of medieval monarchy. It also follows Richard III, who murdered his own nephews in a desperate attempt to secure his stolen crown. It was a period when headstrong queens and consorts seized power and bent men to their will.
The book gives a vivid description of the battles of Towton and Bosworth, where the last Plantagenet king was killed. It also offers a long- overdue corrective to Tudor propaganda, discrediting their self- serving accounts of these wars.
The Wars of the Roses: The Key Players in the Struggle for Supremacy (Matthew Lewis)
This book is a historical account of the second half of the fifteenth century, when Civil War tore England apart. However, its roots were deeper and the effects were felt for longer than the time frame suggests.
It talks about the distinct episodes of conflict, interspersed with long periods of peace. But the struggles never actually stopped. Motives changed, fortunes rose and fell, and the nature of kingship was weighed and measured and the mettle of some of the greatest families was put test.
The author examines the people behind these events and explores the personalities of the main characters, their motives, successes and failures. He uncovers some of the lesser known stories often lost in the broad sweep of the Wars of the Roses, in a period of infamously complex loyalties and shifting fortunes.
The Wars of the Roses: A History from Beginning to End (Hourly History)
This book contains a prelude to the war, as it talks about the old Plantagenet family. It then traces the story of the ultimate family feud, that caused the family to split up and fight for a right to rule. It talks about the battles of Towton and Bosworth, and finally, how the Tudor dynasty won the throne.
By the end of the war, the powers of nobility were significantly diminished and the system of feudalism was all but eradicated. The monarchy strengthened and the royal time of succession was secured for the Tudor dynasty. The Wars of Roses were significant in changing the course of power in England. This book tells the gripping story of this tumultuous period in history with an informative detail and a way that is both educational and entertaining.
Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses (Sarah Gristwood)
This book talks about the Wars of Roses, which tore apart the Plantagenet family in fifteenth century England in a unique way.
The author, an acclaimed historian, reveals that while the events of this turbulent time are often described in terms of the men who fought and died seeking the throne, a handful of powerful women would prove just as decisive as their kinfolks’ clashing armies.
A richly drawn and absorbing epic, this book reveals how women helped end the Wars of the Roses, paving the way for the Tudor dynasty and the creation of modern England.
This book is an exploration of what it meant to be a medieval queen.
All in all, it is a compelling portrait of this bloody age, along with the heartbreaks and triumphs that came with it.
The Wars of the Roses: The History of the Conflicts That Brought the Tudors to Power in England (Charles River Editors)
This book is perfect for anyone who is simply curious about how the Tudors came to power. It contains a lot of entertaining details about the back and forth battle between Yorks and the Lancasters.
This book also discusses about how the incentives in the civil war forced the factions to be more brutal to each other than the English and French were in 100 years of war. The story begins with a discussion of how weak a king Henry the VIth was, and how even though he had a better claim on the throne, people supported Edward because he was a stronger king.
Overall, this book is an excellent, short overview of the conflict. If you begin to read this knowing very little about the Wars of the Roses, you will end up with an in depth understanding of the events that occurred and why they happened.
The Wars of the Roses (Michael Hicks)
In this book, the author (a distinguished historian) examines the difficult economic, military and financial crises and explains for the first time the real reasons why the War of the Roses really began, why they kept occurring and why, eventually, they ceased.
He examines the fresh assessments of key personalities and sheds new light on the involvement of the people in politics. He also discusses the intervention of foreign powers in the English affairs and a fifteenth century credit crunch. He combines a meticulous dissection of competing dynamics with a clear account of the course of events. This is a definitive and indispensable telling of a compelling and complex period.
All in all, this book is a well- judged and vivid account of England’s fifteenth century civil war and presents important analysis of the issues that England’s rulers and their opponents faced very often. It will make a very vital and compulsive reading for anyone interested in the personalities and controversies that surrounded the reigns of Henry VI, Edward IV, Richard III and Henry VII.
The Wars of the Roses (Alison Weir)
This is a historical account of fifteenth century England, when the Yorks and the Lancasters fought over the crown. Kings were murdered and deposed. Armies marched on London. Old noble names were ruined while new rising dynasties seized power and lands.
The war between the two houses, the most complex in English history, profoundly changed the course of the monarchy in England. The author brings to life the war and the personalities who fought it on the great stage of England. It is swift, compelling, rich in character and drama and vivid in its recreation of a tumultuous period in history.
The Women of the Wars of Roses (Alicia Carter)
This book tells a unique story about the Wars of the Roses. The story of England’s most popular dynasty starts with three courageous women who shaped their own destiny.
The Tudor dynasty traces its origin to Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Elizabeth of York- women who waged through blood and loss in order to emerge as the ultimate female survivors of these wars. Their personas, however, could not have been more different and their lives are still shrouded in mystery.
Elizabeth Woodville- the first commoner to marry a king of England, is remembered as a greedy queen who elevated her huge family. Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry Tudor, is remembered as an overly ambitious and scheming woman who ran her son’s court.
Elizabeth of York- the eldest daughter of Elizabeth Woodville and Edward IV is perceived as a queen subjected to her mother-in-law and trapped in a loveless marriage to a man who ousted the last Yorkist King.
This book discusses many of the controversial questions that come up during discussions about this period.
Within these pages you will learn much more about the three women who emerged victorious from the Wars of the Roses and tried to rebuild their lives while adjusting to the new Tudor era.
The Wars of the Roses in 100 Facts (Matthew Lewis)
The Wars of the Roses were a series of brutal conflicts between the two branches of the Plantagenet family- the Lancasters and the Yorks. This book covers this dangerous and exciting period of political change, guiding us through the key events such as the individual battles and the key personalities such as Richard, Duke of York, and the Earl of Warwick, known as ‘The Kingmaker’.
The author takes us on a tour of the Wars of the Roses, fact- by- fact, in easy to read, bite- sized chunks.
He examines some of the most important aspects of this period, from the outbreak of conflict at the First Battle of St Albans, to Henry VI’s insanity and the character of Richard III and his final defeat at the hands of Henry Tudor.
The Wars of the Roses: The Dynastic Wars and Legacy of the House of Tudor from Henry Vi to Elizabeth I (Cameron White)
This book talks about the two hundred years that span the lifetime of one of history’s most notorious royal families.
From political intrigue to religious revolution, the Tudors left a mark on humanity that can still be seen today.
It explores the fascinating world of the House of Tudor- religious and civil disobedience, madness and brilliance, exile and murder were just a part of lives of the members of the Tudor line.
Follow the Tudor family as they defied convention time and again. You will read about the powerful men and women at court and the unrest of the nation that embraced and rebuffed the Catholic Church.
Heartache, tragedy, arranged marriages, double dealings, war and religious upheaval marked the life of every member of the Tudor dynasty. This book will tell you about how the House of Tudor changed the world forever.
Wars of the Roses: Stormbird (Conn Iggulden)
This is a brilliant historical account about two families that plunged England into a devastating, decades long civil war.
In 1473, the Lancaster king Henry VI ascended the throne of England after years of semi- peaceful regency. You will read about the secret truce negotiated with France to trade British territories for a royal bride- Margaret of Anjou- that sparked revolts across the country.
As chaos reigns over England, king Henry and his supporters find themselves besieged abroad and at home. The book is complete in its description of why the battle actually broke out.
The book is the first part of a trilogy that continues the story and follows the story of both the families.
The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (Dan Jones)
This book is an epic narrative history of courage, treachery, ambition and deception.
The author resurrects the royal dynasty that preceded the Tudors- the Plantagenets.
They produced England’s best and worst kings: Henry II and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, twice a queen and the most famous woman in Christendom, their son Richard and his conniving brother King John, who was forced to grant his people new rights under the Magna Carta.
Combining the latest academic research with excellent storytelling, the author vividly recreates the great battles of Bannockburn, Crecy and Suys and reveals how kings Edward II and Richard II met their downfall.