Fatal Colours: Towton 1461 - England's Most Brutal Battle

Fatal Colours: Towton 1461 - England's Most Brutal Battle

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393080841
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 03/29/2012
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

George Goodwin is a history graduate of Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he was awarded a Foundation Exhibition. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Royal Society of Arts and is a member of the Battlefields Trust. He lives near Kew Gardens.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Introduction David Starkey xi

Dramatis Personae:

England, 1422-1450 xxv

England, Spring 1460 xxvii

Prologue 1

1 A Step Too Far 5

2 A Great Man's Legacy-Minority 11

3 An Absence of Kingship-Majority 26

4 An Absent-Minded King 44

5 A Question of Honour 58

6 A Queen Transformed 77

7 'A Warwick' 94

8 The Sun in Splendour 109

9 A Country at War-North vs South 130

10 Towton-Palm Sunday 1461 151

In Memoriam 180

Dramatis Personae: After Towton 185

The Wound Man 189

Family Trees 190

Notes 195

Select Bibliography 215

Selected Places to Visit and Related Organisations 223

Acknowledgements 229

Index 233

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Fatal Colours 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
jcbrunner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For the 550th commemoration of the battle of Towton which took place in northern England on March 29th in 1461, George Goodwin has written a good general introduction to the War of the Roses that led up to this battle which is usually marketed as England's bloodiest. This claim is not backed by facts. The large number of participants in this battle, far larger than in all the other battles of the War of the Roses relies either on monkish non-witness sources or on a napkin calculation of England's male population. In my guesstimate, it is unlikely that more than 30.000 men were engaged. If one counts actual fighters, the numbers would shrink even further. Given the absence of documentation, all numbers are but speculations.Goodwin thus speaks of "England's most brutal battle", even if the true butchery happened after the battle. As in most medieval battles, the majority of casualties occurred in the aftermath of the battle, when the blocked fleeing Lancastrians were massacred. The battle is, however, only the endpoint of this book, its final tenth chapter. The first eight chapters recap the origin of the conflict between the Yorkists and Lancastrians. I found the presentation of Henry VI's schizophrenia one of the highlights of the book. The character vignettes are also well done. The military aspects and the quality problems of the Lancastrians would have merited a more extensive treatment than chapter nine's examination of the campaign and the battle of Towton in chapter ten. Those interested in the battlefield mechanics should look to Boardman's and Haigh's books about the battle. Recommended to the general reader.