The Wars of the Roses

By John Gillingham,

Book cover of The Wars of the Roses

Book description

Frequently remembered as a period of military history which both saw the French beat the English and then the English fight amongst themselves, traditional military historians have tended to pass over the period hastily, regarding it as an episode that wrecked England's military greatness. John Gillingham's highly readable history separates…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Wars of the Roses as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Prof Gillingham was my first PhD supervisor. (I got through a couple or more!) I have always tried to emulate not only the clarity of his writing but also his dry touches of humour and his eminent common sense; not for him the clever-silliness of many academics. All these virtues are on display here in this highly readable account of The Wars of the Roses, in which a complex conflict is rendered enjoyably accessible.

Where to start? There are so many books but John Gillingham’s study of the Wars of the Roses, though published many years ago is still in my view the best overall account. Why? Because this is a topic where contradictory views abound yet this author manages to bring some common sense to his analysis. It cuts through many of the current – and older – myths on this subject. It is also a very good read and covers the whole period very well. Anyone starting to explore this subject should try to unearth a copy of this work.

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