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

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The Wars of the Roses was a period of major crisis in English politics and in the lives of the English landowning classes. This book attempts to explain why the Wars occurred, and with what results, by placing them in the context of the ruling classes' expectations of kingship and governance at that time. The book draws on a large amount of detailed work written over the past twenty-five years on local and national politics, to present a coherent synthesis of what can seem a baffling and incoherent period.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Carpenter's text informs scholars and students of English medieval and Renaissance history. Its arguemtns are clear and well supported by the evidence, and it offers coherent explanations of the crisis of kingship in the fifteenth century. It is a welcome addition to an important series." Michael J. Galgano, History

"[Carpernter's] book will be read with great interest and considerable respect by students and scholars for whom the Wars of the Roses remain the single most important event in English medieval history." Cynthia J. Neville, Speculum

"This is a controversial work, perhaps in parts deliberately provocative. This is a book to make the blood of some fellow historians boil. As intended, one suspects, it will stimulate spirited reactions and hot debate. And all, no doubt, for the good." A.J. Pollard, Albion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521268004
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/13/1997
  • Series: Cambridge Medieval Textbooks Series
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.83 (d)

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 notes.

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