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The Wars of the Roses Paperback – June 25, 1996
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From School Library Journal
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Making this all comprehensible the first time through is simply impossible. Weir almost manages it, though; her style is very readable and friendly, and exciting without being sensational. Weir begins with a short section describing what England was like in the fifteenth century; then she starts the story proper with Edward III, whose five sons and their families are the central players in the history.
She ends her story in 1471, with the defeat of the Lancastrians and the subsequent murder of Henry VI. She only gives a page or two to the remainder of Edward IV's reign, and to the story of Richard III and the princes in the tower, and Henry VII's ultimate accession in 1485. This is almost certainly because she has covered this ground in another book, "The Princes In The Tower". The omission is understandable but still rather a mistake -- the conflict doesn't end till the Tudors are on the throne (and not even then, really -- there were pretenders for years).
The only other criticism I have is that the genealogy tables at the back are too small to read easily. I tried using a magnifying glass but the reproduction is poor enough that some letters are blurred into unreadability.Read more ›
It is a taxing read and while I really enjoyed the other books, this one was more frustrating. The reversals of fortune were particularly frustrating- for example on one page, Jaspar Tudor has the title to Pembroke, which is stripped from him, given to somebody else who is called Pembroke repeatedly but then is killed about two pages later and the name of Pembroke is given back to Jaspar Tudor. So on one page, the name Pembroke is for the House of Lancaster, but then any reference to "Pembroke" means the guy is for the house of York, and then when it switches back to Jaspar, Pembroke is pro-Lancaster again-- So at some point you think to yourself, "Wait, why is Pembroke for Edward- I thought he liked Henry... Oh yeah..." One wonders why (for the sake of clarity)- Jaspar Tudor just can't be called Jaspar Tudor throughout. She is accurate, but at some point I wish clarity had become a priority. While this is a complaint that I and others have had about all of Weir's (and other historians' books), it's particularly troublesome here because of the vast number of people involved, as well as the number of years that it covers.Read more ›
Weir writes a history of people who come alive on her pages. The characters history has given her are ambitious, incompetent, promiscuous, indolent, and lustful. The tale history has given her is one of these characters acting outside the law, each for his/her own purposes and, in so doing it is an early story of violent "politics of destruction" in the literal sense. This story changed forever the history of England.
I often judge how good a book is by whether I am moved to read another one by the same author, or on the same subject. I am now reading Weir's book on Elizabeth. If you are interested in a well written history of a pivotal period in English history, I would highly recommend that you give The Wars of the Roses a try.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting I was born in town of York,Pa. the white rose. There is a lot of towns named from England in Pa.Published 1 month ago by Janet Dreyfus.
It is somewhat amazing that the author was able to pull together long-ago accounts into a well-written, modern history of medieval England. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Gene C. Armistead
Alison Weir is an excellent historical writer. Only author I know who can make non-fiction about the middle ages come alive. She doesn't represent her opinion as fact. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Eileen Findlay
Very difficult to read, lots of dates, names, and places. Wish I had bought the real book instead of Kindle, would have been easier to flip back to recall things. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Richard P West