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Wars of the Roses

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Rowan
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Wars of the Roses

Post by Rowan » Tue October 23rd, 2012, 2:50 pm

So, over the last few months, I've read various tidbits of things - articles and such - about the Wars of the Roses and it has piqued my interest. I'm looking for book recommendations that kinda start from the beginning. I know our lovely Susan has written on the subject and I have at least one of her books with plans to read others.

Also, who were the Yorkist and Lancastrian claimants supposed to be descended from? I knew once upon a time, but now I can't recall.

Your help, as always, is much appreciated.

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Brenna
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Post by Brenna » Tue October 23rd, 2012, 4:01 pm

Oh boy did you ask a very complicated question that is full of a lot of answers, points of view recommendations, suggestions, etc. There are a lot of books written leading up to the true "War of the Roses" and the beginning of the Tudors so hold on to your hat and be prepared for the number of recommendations coming your way.

To understand the War of the Roses, you need to start with Edward III (of course you could be like me and read every book known to man about William the Conqueror to Queen Elizabeth II to really get a proper view of things but it's quite a time suck!). Here are some books I've read during that time period:


Thomas Costain had a great series on the Plantagenet series which can be found in most libraries. They provide a good run down of key events leading up the "War"

King Edward III & Richard II

Susan Higginbotham-Hugh and Bess
Margaret Campbell Barnes-Within the Hollow Crown
Roseanne Letz- I Serve
Karen Harper-The First Princess of Wales

Henry IV and Henry V
Katherine-Anya Seton (Wonderful)
Within the Fetterlock-Brian Wrainwright (Fabulous)
Denise Giardina-Good King Harry
Edith Pargeter-A Bloody Field at Shrewsbury
Rosemary Hawley Jarman-Crown in Candelight

Henry VI, Edward IV, and Richard III
Anne Easter Smith-A Rose for the Crown
Anne Easter Smith-Queen By Right
SKP-Sunne In Splendour (All time favorite book ever)
Susan Higginbotham- The Stolen Crown
Philippa Gregory-The White Queen
Allison Weir-The Princes in the Tower
Allison Weir- The War of the Roses
Brian Wainwright-Allinore Aidley
Josephine Tey-Daughter of Time
Sandra Worth's Triology on the War of Roses
Susan Higginbotham-The Queen of Last Hopes (Wonderful!)
Brenna

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue October 23rd, 2012, 5:13 pm

Nice job Brenna. I started with Penman's The Sunne in Splendour and still consider it the gold standard. She does romanticize Richard a bit, but not near as sugar coated as a couple of authors who shall remain nameless (at least for now). If you're on Goodreads you might want to peruse the bookshelf for the RIII group. Several authors have really made some excellent additions, including our own Susan H.

Carol Wensby-Scott's Alnwick trilogy give excellent background going back to Edward III, but I don't recommend it for newbies just getting their feet wet.
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Rowan
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Post by Rowan » Tue October 23rd, 2012, 5:15 pm

Thanks Brenna. And yes, I'm aware of what I'm asking for. LOL

Misfit, newbies to what? This period of history? What is it about her writing that may be a problem?

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue October 23rd, 2012, 6:07 pm

[quote=""Rowan""]Thanks Brenna. And yes, I'm aware of what I'm asking for. LOL

Misfit, newbies to what? This period of history? What is it about her writing that may be a problem?[/quote]

Rowan, newbies to the history, people of the Wars of the Roses. Absolutely nothing wrong with Wensby-Scott or her writing, I've just seen other friends new to the period and just feel a bit lost at it all. The ties back to Edward III and all those intermarried cousins and all can send the eyes glazing over.

One other thing to keep in mind is what you are looking for in these books. Neither choice is right or wrong, so I'm not trying to stir up dust, but some authors tend to either portray Richard as bad as bad can be (especially in the older books), and there are also those who believe RIII qualifies for saint-hood. I prefer looking for books with a more well-rounded Richard, warts and all, but again that is just my personal preference.
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Brenna
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Post by Brenna » Tue October 23rd, 2012, 6:30 pm

[quote=""Misfit""]Nice job Brenna. I started with Penman's The Sunne in Splendour and still consider it the gold standard. Carol Wensby-Scott's Alnwick trilogy give excellent background going back to Edward III, but I don't recommend it for newbies just getting their feet wet.[/quote]

Thanks Misfit! I tried to include everything I had read and really enjoyed or just read and thought it was good. Although I have two of the three Scott books (they never shipped the third one and I got a refund) I haven't read them yet. I'm waiting to get through the Stuarts and then start all over again with Arthur. :-)

[quote=""Misfit""]Rowan, newbies to the history, people of the Wars of the Roses. Absolutely nothing wrong with Wensby-Scott or her writing, I've just seen other friends new to the period and just feel a bit lost at it all. The ties back to Edward III and all those intermarried cousins and all can send the eyes glazing over.

One other thing to keep in mind is what you are looking for in these books. Neither choice is right or wrong, so I'm not trying to stir up dust, but some authors tend to either portray Richard as bad as bad can be (especially in the older books), and there are also those who believe RIII qualifies for saint-hood. I prefer looking for books with a more well-rounded Richard, warts and all, but again that is just my personal preference.[/quote]

Wainwright's Fetterlock would cause similar issues for those not familiar with the time period but it's so good it's easy to just enjoy the storyline. I prefer the more romanticized view of RIII because of Sunne but I really enjoyed Susan's portrayl of him in her Queen of Last Hopes novel-which painted IMHO a very realistic view of him.
Brenna

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Rowan
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Post by Rowan » Tue October 23rd, 2012, 6:49 pm

In the little bit that I've read set in this period, what confuses me most is the way people are sometimes referred to by their title (i.e. Earl of Warwick) and sometimes by their given name.

I intend to hopefully read books in some sort of chronological order.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue October 23rd, 2012, 6:56 pm

[quote=""Rowan""]In the little bit that I've read set in this period, what confuses me most is the way people are sometimes referred to by their title (i.e. Earl of Warwick) and sometimes by their given name.

I intend to hopefully read books in some sort of chronological order.[/quote]

That does get confusing. All those people with the same first name don't help much either.

I agree about Wainwright's book. Excellent stuff. Don't read Alianore Audley until you've got a good grounding on it all. Otherwise you'll miss half of the jokes.
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princess garnet
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Post by princess garnet » Tue October 23rd, 2012, 9:15 pm

Jean Plaidy wrote a 14 vol. series which included the Wars of the Roses.

annis
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Post by annis » Wed October 24th, 2012, 12:48 am

A few of my favourites, both oldies

Rhoda Edwards, Fortune's Wheel and Broken Sword aka Some Touch of Pity

Pamela Belle, The Lodestar

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