The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors [NOOK Book]

Overview

The author of the New York Times bestseller The Plantagenets chronicles the next chapter in British history?the historical backdrop for Game of Thrones

The crown of England changed hands five times over the course of the fifteenth century, as two branches of the Plantagenet dynasty fought to the death for the right to rule. In this riveting follow-up to The Plantagenets, ...
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The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors

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Overview

The author of the New York Times bestseller The Plantagenets chronicles the next chapter in British history—the historical backdrop for Game of Thrones

The crown of England changed hands five times over the course of the fifteenth century, as two branches of the Plantagenet dynasty fought to the death for the right to rule. In this riveting follow-up to The Plantagenets, celebrated historian Dan Jones describes how the longest-reigning British royal family tore itself apart until it was finally replaced by the Tudors.

Some of the greatest heroes and villains of history were thrown together in these turbulent times, from Joan of Arc to Henry V, whose victory at Agincourt marked the high point of the medieval monarchy, and Richard III, who murdered his own nephews in a desperate bid to secure his stolen crown. This was a period when headstrong queens and consorts seized power and bent men to their will. With vivid descriptions of the battles of Towton and Bosworth, where the last Plantagenet king was slain, this dramatic narrative history revels in bedlam and intrigue. It also offers a long-overdue corrective to Tudor propaganda, dismantling their self-serving account of what they called the Wars of the Roses.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
A Barnes & Noble Best Book of 2014

George R.R. Martin has often said he found the seed for his epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire in the real-life struggle for the throne of England throughout the Late Middle Ages, and it’s easy to see why as you read Dan Jones’ richly detailed, immersive accounts of the years-long conflict between the Plantagenets and the Tudors. This is history that twists and turns like the best fiction, filled with characters both heroic and villainous, and an immediacy that speaks to us even hundreds of years later. See all of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2014.

Library Journal
10/15/2014
In the follow up to 2013's acclaimed The Plantagenets, historian Jones traces the British crown from the fall of Henry V in 1422 to the rise of the Tudor dynasty in the early 1500s. While the subject matter has more cultural cachet owing to the greater prominence of the rulers in popular culture than the more obscure Plantagenets of the Middle Ages, the author's painstaking attention to detail is the same as in his previous work. Similar to its predecessor, this title can be heavy by virtue of condensing 100 years of history into one volume and the commonality of certain names can be confusing at times. However, the story never drags, and Jones succeeds in bringing lesser-known historical figures to life. He also attempts to correct the mythology around the Tudors' ascension to power perpetuated by Shakespeare's histories and other contemporary sources. Particularly emphasized are the personal and leadership qualities of the numerous would-be rulers and peripheral figures that led both to their rise and downfall. VERDICT This excellent and fairly accessible contribution to the history of the Wars of the Roses serves as a helpful corrective to previous mythologized versions. It is highly recommended for studies of British royal history and for readers of popular narrative nonfiction. [See Prepub Alert, 5/4/14.]—Ben Neal, Richland Lib., Columbia, SC
Publishers Weekly
★ 08/25/2014
It’s not often that a book manages to be both scholarly and a page-turner, but British historian Jones succeeds on both counts in this entertaining follow-up to his bestselling The Plantagenets (currently in production as a television miniseries). Previously, Jones explored the Plantagenets’ rise to power, while here he examines their destruction. He begins in 1422 when Henry V dies, leaving the throne to an infant, and continues for the next 100 years through the reign of Henry VIII. Following Henry VI’s descent into madness and the utter collapse of royal authority, dynastic “wars of politics and personality” erupted as England’s elite families fought over the throne. Jones breathes new life into an oft-told account of how the crown changed hands five times before a young Welshman with a dubious claim wrested it from Richard III in 1485. Only during a period of utter chaos, Jones argues, could the Tudors have risen so high so quickly. But, he contends, due to their weak claim, they were forced to annihilate the Plantagenets, going so far as Henry VIII having the elderly Margaret de la Pole executed in 1541. Jones sets a new high-water mark in the current revisionism of the Tudor era. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-07-30
In a follow-up to The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings Who Invented England (2012), British historian Jones authoritatively sets the scene for the next brutal act: the 15th-century succession crises.With the warrior king Henry V's death in 1422, his infant son became Henry VI, leaving the kingdom at the mercy of warring usurpers from France and the young king "beneath an almost crushing burden of expectation." Indeed, Henry VI was not an effective king, and into the vacuum of leadership stepped traitorous aristocrats like the Earl of Suffolk and the Duke of Gloucester, as well as Richard, Duke of York, the king's cousin, who became a dangerous rival. Henry's wife, Queen Margaret, was not able to get rid of Richard, and she sheltered her young scion to the throne and directed allied armies (now called the Lancastrians) as civil war raged around them. However, the Lancastrians were defeated at the Battle of Towton and sent into exile or destroyed, while the York line, led by Richard's son Edward IV took over, with great vigor of rule, lustiness of appetite and confinement of enemies. However, more family trouble erupted with the machinations of Edward's younger brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who suffered from scoliosis of the spine; this villain had his brother's two sons killed in the Tower of London and crowned himself Richard III in 1483. Now, where did the Tudors come in? For this thread, we must return to Henry V's widow, Catherine of Valois, who remarried in some obscurity in 1431 a charming Welsh squire named Oweyn Tidr, aka Owen Tudor. Their grandson in exile, Henry Tudor, would emerge gloriously to defeat Richard III at Bosworth Field in 1485, become King Henry VII and marry Edward's daughter Elizabeth of York in order to consolidate the houses of white and red roses. Valiantly pared down for fluid readability.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780698170322
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/14/2014
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 15,023
  • File size: 9 MB

Meet the Author


Dan Jones is an award-winning historian of the Middle Ages. His four-part television series based on The Plantagenets is currently in production and will be broadcast in 2015. He lives in London.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 3, 2014

    Only a complete fool would give this book one star for the reaso

    Only a complete fool would give this book one star for the reasons stated by the other reviewers. This is a fantastic book. (See, I actually READ IT, unlike the other two reviewers.) The part about Richard III killing his nephews occupies about 5 pages of the entire volume. 
    The author states simply that the person with the most to gain by their deaths was Richard himself, which gives him motive and, since it was he who had them imprisoned in
     the Tower in the first place, opportunity. That'd be enough to get him indicted today, if not convicted. So enough of the Tudor-hating conspiracy theories please. Richard did it. 
    And Mr. Jones has written a great follow up to his "The Plantagenets". READ IT, and enjoy.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2014

    This is an outstanding book. Dan Jones is right up there with th

    This is an outstanding book. Dan Jones is right up there with the great authors of popular history. As an American, I often find English history  confusing. Dan Jones makes his subject clear,. He explains  all the intrigue of this period but also explains how the Kings and Nobles effected England as a whole. I believe the writers

     who gave this book poor reviews must be members of a group seeking to rehabilitate King Richard's legacy

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2014

    Five stars. Must read.

    Must read. That's all I'll say. It's a brilliant book that retells the conflict starting and the very beginning, going deep into its origins and ending with the execution of a prominent York member and the accession of the last Tudor Queen and how the imagery of the wars of the roses was used there. The Tudors as a dynasty were not well established and it was important they used whatever imagery they could come up with to legitimize their claim. The iconography which gave birth to the term Wars of the Roses. And how it is very wrong. White rose vs red rose. The Yorks vs Lancasters. Good vs Evil. A common theme we see in every book but it's not applicable to history and much less to this history. He makes a point of how each side had more than one symbol and those were very inter-changeable.
    Another feature you'll love is that he sets the record straight on Richard III and Henry VII who are often pinned against each other in a good vs evil-like struggle. But the two were very complex figures and men of their times who could be kind and just to their friends and family, and in Richard's case with the people as well, but having witnessed brutality firsthand when they were very young, they could also be very ruthlesd.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I am grateful to the anonymous reviewer who alerted me to the bi

    I am grateful to the anonymous reviewer who alerted me to the bias against Richard III in this book and who also summarized so succinctly the question of Henry Tudor's very strong motive for wanting the little princes out of the way. Shakespeare's depiction of Richard III as an evil, nephew-killing hunchback is derived from Thomas More's book, "The History of King Richard III," and since More was a protege at an early age of the Tudor right-hand man John Morton (of the famous "Morton's Fork," which filled Henry VII's coffers), the most charitable excuse for his absurd caricature is that he was raised surrounded by Tudor apologists. I also will not waste my time and money on this book. I'll probably skip the TV series as well.

    1 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2014

    Great read

    A confusing war(s), turned into fascinating reading. A great follow up to The Plantagenets.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2014

    F

    G

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2014

    I won't read this book because it perpetuates the falsehood that

    I won't read this book because it perpetuates the falsehood that Richard killed his nephews. This myth was created by the Tudors because Henry VII sought legitimacy to the throne through his marriage to Edward IV's daughter Elizabeth. But all three of Edward's children were declared bastards by proof of Edward's prior marriage. Richard had no need to kill his nephews, but Henry did. It was only through the desth of the princes that their sister gained any  claim to the throne. This is one myth of the Tudors that this author fell for

    0 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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