Cultura e Letteratura
Wars of the Roses

Wars of the Roses

Wars of the Roses

In the 15th century, England lay in tatters. At the hands of the French, it had experienced catastrophic defeat in the Hundred Years’ War, the nation’s coffers were empty, and King Henry VI had declined into madness. With the king propped up by his cunning wife, Henry’s relatives descended hungrily on the crown, each vying to claim the English throne. The bloodshed and dynastic drama that followed was immortalised in history as the Wars of the Roses. In this brand-new book, discover how the Houses of York and Lancaster turned against each other as greed, glory and a thirst for power trumped family loyalty.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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6,98 €

in questo numero

8 minuti
england’s game of thrones

Henry VI is born The son of warrior king Henry V and Catherine de Valois, Henry VI was crowned king of both England and France during infancy. He would proceed to oversee England’s final losses in the Hundred Years’ War and famously married the strong and powerful Margaret of Anjou. 6 December 1421 The birth of the Kingmaker Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick was one of the most powerful figures in the entire war, personally overseeing the deposition of two kings is born. He was killed at the Battle of Barnet. 22 November 1428 Margaret of Anjou is born One of the key players in the Wars of the Roses, Margaret of Anjou, the future wife of King Henry VI, is born in France to René, Duke of Anjou, and Isabel de Lorraine. 23 March 1430 Jasper Tudor is…

1 minuti
treating henry

As one might expect, Henry VI was assigned a crack team of medical professionals to oversee his care. Three physicians and two surgeons were formally appointed in March 1454. They included John Arundell, an Oxford medical graduate and now a canon at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, and William Hattecliffe who had studied at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and the University of Padua in Italy. He had been in royal service since November 1452. All manner of treatments were prescribed, from laxatives to poultices, and from blood-letting to ‘head purges’, which involved the application of extreme heat to the scalp. Following prevailing medical orthodoxies, the goal was to restore the king’s humoral balance: it was assumed that Henry’s condition derived from colder and wetter humours, such as blood and phlegm, becoming dominant. It is…

1 minuti
margaret of anjou’s black legend?

In one of her most iconic portrayals, Margaret is referred to as a “foul wrinkled witch” in Shakespeare’s play, Richard III. Such ridiculing remarks were commonplace for centuries – claiming or calling a woman a witch was one of the best ways to disparage her, particularly if she was in a position of influence. Yet, until she perceived that her husband and son were under threat from the Duke of York, Margaret showed little political ambition. Having grown up around powerful, educated women in France like her mother, Margaret knew that royal authority had to be fought for. Margaret proved herself to be a formidable queen. Faced with a completely incapable husband and the political intrigue of the English court, she was left with no choice but to lead the Lancastrian…

2 minuti
who decides who wears the crown?

On 8 November 1460, Richard, Duke of York, was declared heir apparent to Henry VI. Queen Margaret rejected this, insisting that her son by Henry VI, Edward, was the rightful heir. It was her determination that led to the Battle of Wakefield the following month. Who was right and by what authority should such matters be determined? Everyone agreed that God was the ultimate sovereign and that he appointed kings to rule in his name. But how did he make his will known? There were three possibilities – hereditary descent, agreement of the people by parliamentary vote, or conquest. Both Richard and Henry were directly descended from Edward III. But the Yorkists claimed that Henry VI’s grandfather, Henry IV, had murdered God’s anointed monarch (Richard II), had no hereditary rights and…

11 minuti
warwick the kingmaker

Richard Neville (1428–1471) was born into a northern family of immense wealth and potent political influence. With vast northern estates, the Nevilles were reputedly able to put 10,000 troops into the field, and the future power base of Richard, an eldest son, was greatly enhanced through marriage to Anne Beauchamp: lands in the Midlands, southern England and South Wales came under his sway. Few details of Neville’s early life survive, but he made a notable entry into public life when he formally took up the title of Earl of Warwick in 1449. Given his later, unremitting interventions in English politics, it is perhaps surprising that Warwick appears to have been largely uninterested in affairs of state at this early stage of his career: he had a seat on the king’s council…

4 minuti
battles & bloodshed 1461-1484

Mortimer’s Cross 2 February 1461 Yorkist Edward, Earl of March, intercepted a Lancastrian army in Herefordshire preparing to march on London and free King Henry VI from captivity. Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford, James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire, and Owen Tudor (Bedford’s father) each commanded a Lancastrian unit. Although Wiltshire’s mercenaries routed the Yorkist left wing, the Yorkists under Edward and Sir William Herbert prevailed against Pembroke’s Welsh troops. Sensing a Yorkist victory, the Lancastrian army fled the field. Second battle of St Albans 17 February 1461 Lancastrian Queen Margaret’s Lancastrian army, led by Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset, attacked the Yorkist army of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick at St Albans. Warwick had established a strong defensive position bristling with archers, handgunners and artillery, but inclement weather extinguished handgun matches and rendered the arrow barrages…