10 books like The Woodvilles

By Susan Higginbotham,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Woodvilles. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Wars of the Roses

By John Gillingham,

Book cover of The Wars of the Roses

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.

The Wars of the Roses

By John Gillingham,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Wars of the Roses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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 the myth from the reality. He argues that, paradoxically, the Wars of the Roses demonstrate how peaceful England in fact was. From the accession of the infant Henry VI to the thrones of England and France in 1422 to the accession of Henry VII following the Battle of Bosworth in…


Edward IV (The English Monarchs Series)

By Charles Ross,

Book cover of Edward IV (The English Monarchs Series)

Like Gillingham’s book, it was published decades ago yet it is still the best overall work on Edward IV. Ross manages to give the reader a clear picture of this king and the tumultuous events in which he played a pivotal role. It is a balanced, thoughtful account which is ideal for a newcomer to the subject.

Edward IV (The English Monarchs Series)

By Charles Ross,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Edward IV (The English Monarchs Series) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In his own time Edward IV was seen as an able and successful king who rescued England from the miseries of civil war and provided the country with firm, judicious, and popular government. The prejudices of later historians diminished this high reputation, until recent research confirmed Edward as a ruler of substantial achievement, whose methods and policies formed the foundation of early Tudor government. This classic study by Charles Ross places the reign firmly in the context of late medieval power politics, analyzing the methods by which a usurper sought to retain his throne and reassert the power of a…


Richard III and the Princes in the Tower

By A.J. Pollard,

Book cover of Richard III and the Princes in the Tower

There are so many books about these two boys that one could be forgiven for not reading any of them. But, if you are going to read one make it this one. Pollard knows what he is talking about because he has a background of authoritative historical study second to none. What you’ll find in this book is as near as anyone is going to get to a balanced account. Forget all the dark myths and whitewashes of Richard III and just read this book.

Richard III and the Princes in the Tower

By A.J. Pollard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Richard III and the Princes in the Tower as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Richard III has divided opinion for over 500 years. Traditionally, he has been perceived as a villain, a bloody tyrant and the monstrous murderer of his innocent nephews. To others he was and remains a wronged victim who did his best for kingdom and family, a noble prince and enlightened statesman tragically slain. This work explores the story of Richard III and the tales that have been woven around the historic events, and discusses his life and reign and the disappearance of the princes in the tower. It also assesses the original sources upon which much of the "history" is…


Bosworth

By Chris Skidmore,

Book cover of Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors

The Battle of Bosworth was a defining point – arguably, the defining point of the period and there have been many books written about it. This is as good as any and better than most. Skidmore gives a comprehensive context for and account of the battle. The book was published in 2013 so it takes into account much of the recent archaeological work which has been done to locate and describe the battlefield itself. It is a very useful guide indeed because, though Skidmore analyses possibilities where evidence is hard to come by, he does not stray into the realms of fantasy.

Bosworth

By Chris Skidmore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bosworth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Richard III and Henry Tudor's legendary battle: one that changed the course of English history.

On the morning of 22 August 1485, in fields several miles from Bosworth, two armies faced each other, ready for battle. The might of Richard III's army was pitted against the inferior forces of the upstart pretender to the crown, Henry Tudor, a 28-year-old Welshman who had just arrived back on British soil after 14 years in exile. Yet this was to be a fight to the death - only one man could survive; only one could claim the throne.

It would become one of…


The White Queen

By Philippa Gregory,

Book cover of The White Queen

It’s often said that the golden rule for storytelling is “thou shalt not bore.” While as a history buff, I get a kick out of historical fiction even when it might read more non-fiction than fiction, the genre risks falling prey to having to balance fact over fun. This is not the case with esteemed historical fiction author, Philippa Gregory. For those who like their history with a touch of steam and can forgive historical “embellishments,” Gregory delivers heavily researched stories that put character arcs and plot twists front and center. These tempting books follow the women in power behind the scenes of the War of the Roses. As a prolific writer, Gregory bestows upon us a bounty of six books in this series, carrying the reader on more of a year abroad than just a quick vacation. 

The White Queen

By Philippa Gregory,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The White Queen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The inspiration for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries The White Queen, #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory brings to life the extraordinary story of Elizabeth Woodville, a woman who rises from obscurity to become Queen of England, and changes the course of history forever.

Elizabeth Woodville is a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition. Her mother is Jacquetta, also known as the mystical lady of the rivers, and she is even more determined to bring power and wealth to the family line. While riding in the woods one day, Elizabeth captures the attentions of the newly crowned King…


The Brothers York

By Thomas Penn,

Book cover of The Brothers York: A Royal Tragedy

I first heard about The Brothers York on a history podcast and immediately knew I had to get my hands on it. Before reading this brick of a book, my understanding of the Wars of the Roses was sketchy, even rather confused. After having read it, however, I had the idea and the outline for my own novel set during that time, which I ended up publishing shortly thereafter. Of course, my writing process required more research than what The Brothers York could help with, but this book nonetheless laid the foundation of my own knowledge of late 15th-century England. I would recommend it to anyone who finds the Wars of the Roses even remotely interesting; despite being non-fiction I was never once bored while reading it.

The Brothers York

By Thomas Penn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Brothers York as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Vicious battles, powerful monarchs, and royal intrigue abound in this “gripping, complex, and sensational” (Hilary Mantel) true story of the War of the Roses—a struggle among three brothers, two of whom became kings, and the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Richard III.

In 15th-century England, two royal families, the House of York and the House of Lancaster, fought a bitter, decades-long civil war for the English throne. As their symbols were a red rose for Lancaster and a white rose for York, the conflict became known as the War of the Roses.

During this time, the house of York came to dominate…


On the Trail of the Yorks

By Kristie Dean,

Book cover of On the Trail of the Yorks

A combination of history book and travel guide, On the Trail of the Yorks looks at the House of York from Richard, Duke of York through his children, including Edward IV and Richard III, to his granddaughter, Elizabeth of York, queen of Henry VII, highlighting the many historical locations associated with the family. The book is laid out in an easy-to-follow format, with each main character of the Yorkist dynasty getting their own chapter. The chapters then follow a loosely chronological manner, based on when the locations were used or visited, by the person in question. Kristie Dean always gives a history of the association between the Yorks and the historic site, while also giving a general history of the location. The book acts as a practical guide for each historic site; giving not only useful contact details, but also travel information and what to look out for while you…

On the Trail of the Yorks

By Kristie Dean,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On the Trail of the Yorks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Richard III is probably the House of York's best-known figure, but the other members of the family are just as intriguing as the king who fell on Bosworth Field. These include his father, the Duke of York, who held a claim to the throne that would eventually topple a king; his older brother Edward IV, a warrior cast in the mould of a true Plantagenet; and the resilient Yorkist queen Elizabeth Woodville and her daughter Elizabeth of York, the latter of whom would eventually unite the family with their longstanding rivals, the Lancastrians, and become the mother of the most…


The Lady of the Rivers

By Philippa Gregory,

Book cover of The Lady of the Rivers: A Novel

I love this story because the main character, Jacquetta, is not outright royalty—like the typical queen or princess that many historical fiction novels feature. She’s descended from a river goddess, which gives her the gift of second sight and an alluring presence, propelling her into various rings of power. From meeting Joan of Arc in France, to studying alchemy, to participating in a secret marriage, to becoming a trusted confidant of the Queen of England, Jacquetta navigates so many dangerous situations and precarious relationships using her special gifts. Yet after all of this, it’s her family that ultimately comes out on top in what is the beginning of a dynasty in the War of the Roses… the revered House of York! Sneaky and fascinating!

The Lady of the Rivers

By Philippa Gregory,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lady of the Rivers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE COMPELLING NOVEL FROM SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER PHILIPPA GREGORY

'This is a man's world, Jacquetta, and some women cannot march to the beat of a man's drum. Do you understand?'

1435. Rouen. Jacquetta of Luxembourg is left a wealthy young widow when her husband, the Duke of Bedford, dies. Her only friend in the great household is Richard Woodville, the Duke's squire, and it is not long before the two become lovers and marry in secret.

The Woodvilles return to the Lancaster court, where Jacquetta becomes close friends with young King Henry VI's new queen. But she can sense a…


The House of Beaufort

By Nathen Amin,

Book cover of The House of Beaufort: The Bastard Line that Captured the Crown

The House of Beaufort: The Bastard Line that Captured the Crown is a masterpiece of historical writing. Nathen Amin has written the story of a family from its very beginning, highlighting the heights of their success, and the depths of their failures. Covering almost exactly 100 years, the book provides a fascinating insight into a family who lived close to the crown but looked like they would constantly be denied it.

Nathen Amin’s passion for the Beauforts comes across on every page. His persuasive, perceptive arguments are all supported with ample evidence and explanation. These arguments and insights are balanced and reflective, even in the divided loyalties of the Wars of the Roses.

Comprehensive and compelling, this is a book that should grace the shelves of any fan of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, of the royal Houses of Lancaster and York, and the Hundred Years War, or even for…

The House of Beaufort

By Nathen Amin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The House of Beaufort as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Wars of the Roses saw family fight family over the greatest prize - the throne of England. But what gave the eventual victor of these brutal and complex wars, Henry Tudor, the right to claim the crown? How exactly did an illegitimate line come to challenge the English monarchy?

While the Houses of York and Lancaster fought brutally for the crown, other noble families of the kingdom also played integral roles in the wars; grand and prestigious names like the Howards, Mowbrays, Nevilles and Percys were intimately involved in the conflict, but none symbolised the volatile nature of the…


Kingmaker

By Toby Clements,

Book cover of Kingmaker: Kingdom Come

Bit of a cheat: four books in one. Researching the Wars of the Roses can often mean separating fact from fiction. When it comes to historical fiction on the Wars, authors have a tendency to impose their own theories on the facts and to ladle on the violence. The Wars were horribly violent at times, without question, and Toby Clements’s dazzling novels, which follow the fortunes of two outcasts, Thomas and Katherine, do not shy away from that. But these novels also focus on the humanity caught up in great events, to unforgettable effect.

Kingmaker

By Toby Clements,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kingmaker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Toby Clements's fourth and final instalment in the Kingmaker historical series, set during England's bloody and brutal War of the Roses.

If you liked Conn Iggulden's Stormbird, you will love Toby Clements' Kingmaker novels.

'Toby Clements Kingmaker series is historical fiction at its very finest - and Kingdom Come is the best of them all' William Ryan, author of The Holy Thief

1470: The recent tensions between King Edward and his great ally the Earl of Warwick lie forgotten these past months, but even as winter tightens her grip on the land, the peace is shattered by a vicious attack…


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