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War of the Roses Reading
July 7, 2013
6:13 am
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Olga
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Sorry not strictly Tudor related but I need some help. I’m trying to compile my book list for next year and I want to do some reading on the Yorks. I’ve had some good recommendations from here for Richard III books, but I am specifically looking for biographies on Edward IV, Margaret of Anjou, Cecily Neville. Google is defeating me, it keeps giving me lists of historical fiction books. I can look at some of the PG bibliographies too, she seems to recommend Baldwin and Hicks a lot from what I remember. Has anyone read any of their books?
Also I suppose I should read a general book too but the sheer volume of those is daunting me, I have no idea where to start.
I will probably get David Baldwin’s biography on Elizabeth Woodville, I am not reading anything with “the true story of the White Queen” written on the coverYell

On the Tudor side I saw Skidmore has a book on Bosworth coming out too, I haven’t seen much on Henry VII besides Thomas Penn’s book (which I have). Has anyone read Elizabeth Norton’s book on Margaret Beaufort?

July 7, 2013
8:00 am
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Bill1978
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The only pre-Henry VII books I have are Penn’s one of H7 and Weir’s books War Of The Roses and The Princes In The Tower. I aim to get Skidmore’s book (when it is in paperback) as I quite enjoyed his book on Edward VI. Other than that I’m not much help.

July 7, 2013
1:14 pm
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Olga
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Weir is too Shakespearean for me unfortunately Bill, I want to read something a little more balanced on the Princes. Then again that may be tough, I know David Baldwin did one with a bit of a wild theory, but I might read it anyway. I don’t mind a wild theory now and then.

July 7, 2013
10:15 pm
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Bob the Builder
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Josephine Wilkinson has a sequel to her book on Richard, Duke of Gloucester coming out in, i think, October that deals with the period 1475 – 1487 and has some focus on Richards move from trusted, competant, utterly loyal ‘go to’ man of the House of York to being an unexpected King with some missing nephews. based on how good her first book on him was, i imagine her second will be well worth reading.

much as it pains me to say it, i’m not sure that David Starkey has a very good grip of the Wars of the Roses, primarily because i just don’t think it interests him, Weir is probably worth reading – though make sure you read others as well, she’s no fan of Richard III, and i think that she has allowed her personal dislike to colour her view of the whole period. Desmond Seward is well worth reading, as is David Baldwin.

surprisingly, i’m also going to suggest a couple of works of fiction to get a ‘feel’ of the period – firstly Sharon Penmans ‘the Sunne in Splendor’, and secondly Shakesperes’ Hollow Crown series: Richard II, Henry IV pt 1, pt 2, Henry V and the 3 pts’ of Henry VI.

Hobbes is, for me, the starting point; life is nasty, brutish and short. if you want to win, the other guy, and his children, need to be dead, and success is that you and your children die peacefully in your beds – if the other guy wins, that won’t happen. without wishing to drag this thread to ‘that’ topic, a significant body of opinion thinks that Richards usurpation of the crown and the disappearance of the two Princes wasn’t Shakesperes’ malevolent ambition, but fearful self-preservation. the same could probably be said of Richard, 3rd Duke of Yorks rebellions against Henry VI, and Henry, Duke of Lancasters userpation aginst Richard II in 1399. scared people, knowing the price of losing is going to be very high indeed.

also worth noting that everyone is related to everyone, usually in several different ways at the same time – Cecily Neville, wife of Richard of York and mother to Edward IV and Richard III, was a (2nd?) cousin of Margaret Beaufort…

July 8, 2013
12:37 am
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Steve Callaghan
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I enjoyed Weir’s book on the Princes. However, she was so set on casting Richard III as the undoubted villain, and stating that Thomas More’s word was law, that I ended up suspecting Buckingham. As an aside, so many modern historians/authors spend far too much time criticising the findings of other researchers; and their various biases (pro or anti-Catholic/pro or anti-Tudor/pro or anti-women etc etc) are too often made tediously clear.

July 8, 2013
1:29 am
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Olga
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I cannot read Weir, I simply can’t. I have already tried some of her books, and with the exception of her book on Mary Boleyn, she sends me into a rage.

I have read one of Josephine Wilkinson’s books and enjoyed it so I will put her Richard books on my list. I think Seward and Baldwin will give me a few to go on for now. I might look at Michael Jones too.

July 8, 2013
5:21 am
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Bill1978
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I admit that I own alot of Weir books. My defence is that I like that my Tudor collection has book from the same author but I defintiely don’t consider her view gospels. I began reading her book on The Princes and even though she claimed to be open minded about the events, even before I got through 20 pages I knew she was goingto place the blame all on Richard III.

You are brave for wanting to delve into the War Of The Roses period Olga. My little brain gets so confused over who is who and why they think they have a claim to the title, that it threatens to blow up sometimes. The Tudor period is so straight forward compared to the War Of The Roses, which if I didn’t know better was a TV series created by the creators of Lost.

July 8, 2013
12:00 pm
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Louise
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My partner has told me that if I ever buy either an Alison Weir book or a Hilary Mantel book again then he’s going to hide in a cupboard until I’ve finished reading it.Yell

July 8, 2013
1:08 pm
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Steve Callaghan
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You could always write The Lady in the Cupboard while you’re there, Louise. Laugh

July 8, 2013
1:17 pm
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Steve Callaghan
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Bob the Builder said

if you want to win, the other guy, and his children, need to be dead, and success is that you and your children die peacefully in your beds – if the other guy wins, that won’t happen. without wishing to drag this thread to ‘that’ topic, a significant body of opinion thinks that Richards usurpation of the crown and the disappearance of the two Princes wasn’t Shakesperes’ malevolent ambition, but fearful self-preservation.

This is something worth bearing in mind. For instance, even Thomas Cromwell would’ve felt like he had little choice but to move against Anne and her supporters. It’s often only propaganda – convenient to certain parties – which turns history’s losers into out-and-out villains. Context is all.

July 8, 2013
1:42 pm
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Louise
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SteveJ said

You could always write The Lady in the Cupboard while you’re there, Louise. Laugh

Brilliant idea! Alternatively he could share it with Mark Smeaton and they could eat marmalade togther.Laugh

July 8, 2013
4:15 pm
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Steve Callaghan
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July 8, 2013
5:38 pm
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Olga
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SteveJ said

You could always write The Lady in the Cupboard while you’re there, Louise. Laugh

Amberley says yea!

Does anyone else every feel sorry for their partners? I am sure I catch Craig’s eyes glazing over at least twice a day.

July 8, 2013
5:42 pm
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Olga
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Bill1978 said
The Tudor period is so straight forward compared to the War Of The Roses, which if I didn’t know better was a TV series created by the creators of Lost.

Laugh

I think it’s time I went back and did the background reading Bill. I am daunted but I am a bit of a manic reader and get through a lot of books when I have the mind to. If the historian is good it actually manages to stay in my head too.

I have renamed The Children of Henry VIII by Weir, I now call it The Tale of the Body Snatcher. Incidentally, I did keep that one.

July 8, 2013
5:55 pm
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Sharon
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Does anyone else every feel sorry for their partners? I am sure I catch Craig’s eyes glazing over at least twice a day.

Lee knows more about Henry’s reign than he probably ever wanted to know. When I’m watching a TV show and they get something wrong, he puts his earplugs in. He has an obsession with WWII. So there is a lot of eye glazing going on in our house.

July 8, 2013
8:40 pm
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Anyanka
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I have to listen to D’Hoffryn commentate on the hockey, he gets to listen to my diatribes on history including the famous dual shout of ” you can’t have that plane in that air-battle because it wasn’t being used until later in the war” from both of us. He knows about planes I do the war history stuff.

It's always bunnies.

July 8, 2013
11:31 pm
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Olga
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Actually Craig likes to rile me up, he is currently pretending to believe Margaret Beaufort had an affair with Jasper Tudor to enrage me. Maybe I should feel less sorry for him, he does start laughing at me when I roar.

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