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The Wars of the Roses   by Trevor Royle

Read: 2017-03-26 Reviewed: 2017-04-02
Re-read factor:

A history book. First time Iʼve ever read such a thing. Reads like a bland novel bereft of dialog: pure exposition. Royle makes the sequence of events entirely believable, and does his best to place the events within the emotions, fears and beliefs of the people of the period.

I wonʼt pretend that Iʼm able to recite all the comings and goings with repeated recycling of forenames and ancestral names, but roughly: Richard II is usurped by Henry IV who begat Henry V, a great king who managed to rule over all England and France after winning the Battle of Agincourt, but dies suddenly of an illness and leaves baby Henry VI on the throne; he turns out to be mentally inept and in any case the people fall about around him and there is much bloodshed everywhere; Richard III eventually usurps him on the throne--after killing every person he doesnʼt like--, then Henry VI gets it back, and then Richard III is back in again, killing off Henry VI and just about every other person he knows including his nephews, the ‘Princes in the Tower’. But he leaves no heir himself and a relatively unknown and unrelated person called Henry Tudor happens to turn up and kill Richard III in the Battle of Bosworth; he takes the throne as Henry VII, and with everybody else dead he founds peace, stability, and the Tudor dynastic line. And thereabouts ended the Wars of the Roses.

Okay, it is all interesting in the sense of finding out where we all come from as a nation. But that is all that can be said, I want to get back to some science fiction next. But that having been said, Iʼm sure now that Iʼve learned something about the 15th Century, there will come a time when Iʼm eager to learn about what goes on in the 14th and 16th, my interest having at least been piqued by this book.

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