Edward IV and the War of the Roses, David Santiuste

Edward IV and the War of the Roses, David Santiuste


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Edward IV and the War of the Roses, David Santiuste

Edward IV and the War of the Roses, David Santiuste

Although the War of the Roses finally ended at Bosworth Field in 1485, this came after fourteen years of peace. The main part of the war had been won by Edward IV, a king who ruled for 12 peaceful years after his final victory and who died a natural death. The final clash between Richard III and Henry Tudor might best be seen as a separate conflict.

The focus of this biography is on Edward's impressive career as a military leader. This immediately presents Santiuste with a serious problem - many of Edward's battles are quite hard to reconstruct. Rather than hide this behind artificially coherent narratives Santiuste examines the various surviving sources, in effect 'showing his working' as he attempts to produce a satisfactory account of each battle.

The result is a convincing well-argued portrayal of one of England's most talented but perhaps least appreciated kings, focusing on his skills as a battlefield leader, an area in which he excelled.

Chapters
1 - Rouen, April 1442
2 - Calais, November 1459
3 - London, March 1461
4 - York, March 1461
5 - Reading, September 1464
6 - Texel, The Netherlands, October 1470
7 - London, April 1471
8 - Epilogue

Author: David Santiuste
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 192
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2010



(Review) David Santiuste, Edward IV and the War of the Roses, (Barnsley, 2010)

It has been a while, so here is another review for you!

David Santiuste, Edward IV and the War of the Roses, (Barnsley, 2010)

With great apprehension I have spent many-a-day staring at the foreboding cover of Santiuste’s work before finally picking it up and reading it. Edward IV is not a popular character of British history, but perhaps the author is right in his assertion that his capabilities have been neglected as a result of this. As the cover surmises, this was to be a work of military history alone, focusing on the War of the Roses as would be expected and the less dominant topic of his military excursions into France something only subtly insinuated by the presence of his coat of arms which lays these claims, in the guise of the Fleur-de-Lis.

The book is based chronologically rather than thematically, something that will be of great comfort to beginners but perhaps frustrating to those more experienced in his reign. It begins with a useful, if confusing, family tree giving the reader an immediate reference point for many of the names they are soon to encounter. This is unfortunately the only useful insertion present within the publication, with battle maps that are lacking any great detail and photos that would have greatly benefited from the use of colour. Admittedly this would have increased the book’s costs, but without it this work has the unfortunate situation of already looking old fashioned – not good for such a new and ultimately riveting book.

The book begins with an interesting Introduction which highlights both the difficulties an historian of the period faces, as well as potential ways to overcome these problems. He also spends a short space explaining the functional and logistical aspects of a late Medieval army such as arms and recruitment, all useful information that he will not (and does not) repeat later in the book. This moves quickly into Edward’s upbringing and the environment he was brought up in as son to “the greatest English nobleman after the King”. This is also our first introduction to the central character of Warwick within the narrative someone who’s relationship with Edward is a central focus of Santiuste’s reassessment.

The book moves fast, racing through Edward’s rise to fame and accession of the Yorkist seat of power and his ‘great’ (read bloody) victory at Towton which secured him the throne of England. On a quick aside, the account of Towton is a fine example of Santiuste’s ability to maintain the raw enthusiasm of a military historian whilst inserting the reality of the massacre that ensued. The narrative continues with the break down in relationship between Edward and Warwick, Edward’s subsequent exile and triumphant return culminating in one of the most famous battles of the wars, the Battle of Barnet. His pursuit of the Lancastrians is followed and Santiuste leaves us on a cliff hanger, describing the exile of the young Henry Tudor (a swift reminder that this book was about Edward and not the War of the Roses), utilising his uncanny ability to make the reader want more. Time is taken within the Epilogue to discuss Edwards thwarted attempts in France, after finally securing his kingdom and bringing a peace to his own land. This final discussion sits more as an apology of Edward’s lack of success and is the only area of the book that directly engages with historiography, an interesting read but it is unfortunately more academic than the dynamic narrative that has given the book the flair that a good Biography needs.

Santiuste has avoided the ultimate question that must be asked of historical biographies, “do we need another one on . . .?”. His work shows exactly why they are vital for the subject and its engagement with all enthusiasts, novice or professional. He incorporates new research as well as expounding new theories to retell a story that has become humdrum in its traditional biases. Where the images have been lacking, his bibliography is perfect for those who wish to look further into the reign of Edward IV. As Santiuste himself says “There are more questions than answers – which lie beyond the scope of this book – and readers are encouraged to explore the debate for themselves” to which his references and bibliography facilitate that perfectly. If that isn’t the sign of a good history book, then nothing is.


Edward IV and the War of the Roses, David Santiuste - History

David Santiuste is a historian of late medieval Britain. He is the author of two books: Edward IV and the Wars of the Roses and The Hammer of the Scots. His other publications include contributions to Medieval Sexuality: A Casebook and Medieval Warfare.

David grew up in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, where his interest in history was inspired by visits to nearby castles and churches – as well as regular trips to his local library. He went on to study at the University of St Andrews, where he continued with postgraduate research. He currently teaches history at the Centre for Open Learning, University of Edinburgh.

David is also the creator, with Rae Tan, of the website Reflections of the Yorkist Realm. You can follow him on Facebook at David Santiuste – Historian or on Twitter @dbsantiuste.


Books

Indisputably the most effective general of the Wars of the Roses, Edward IV died in his bed, undefeated in battle. Yet Edward has not achieved the martial reputation of other warrior kings such as Henry V – perhaps because he fought battles against his own people in a civil war. It has also been suggested that he lacked the personal discipline expected of a truly great commander. But, as David Santiuste shows in this perceptive and highly readable study, Edward was a formidable military leader whose strengths and subtlety have not been fully recognized. This reassessment of Edward’s military role, and of the Wars of the Roses in which he played such a vital part, gives a fascinating insight into Edward the man as well as the politics and the fighting. Based on contemporary sources and the latest scholarly research, Edward IV and the Wars of the Roses brings to life an extraordinary period of English history.

“A valuable and thought-provoking addition to the canon, which ought to become required reading for anyone interested in the reign of the first Yorkist monarch” (Dr Hannes Kleineke, The Ricardian)

“A convincing, well-argued portrayal of one of England’s most talented but perhaps least appreciated kings, focusing on his skills as a battlefield leader, an area in which he excelled” (historyofwar.org)

The Hammer of the Scots: Edward I and the Scottish Wars of Independence

(Pen and Sword Military, 2015)

Known to posterity as Scottorum Malleus – the Hammer of the Scots – Edward I was one of medieval England’s most formidable kings. This book offers a fresh interpretation of Edward’s military career, with a particular focus on his Scottish wars. In part this is a study of personality: Edward was a remarkable man. His struggles with tenacious opponents – including Robert the Bruce and William Wallace – have become the stuff of legend. But David Santiuste also explores the wider context of Edward’s Scottish campaigns. He describes the effects on people at all levels of society, providing a richly detailed portrait of the British Isles at war.

“With an insight into not just the military capabilities of the opposing sides, but also the technology, tactics and logistics of fighting a war in an opponent’s land, it reveals a great deal more than the general view of Edward I” (Skirmish: The Living History Magazine)

“… looks into exactly what made Edward tick, with a fascinating exploration of the king’s personality” (Scottish Field)


The triumph of Edward IV

Warwick’s power was insecure, however, for the Lancastrians found it difficult to trust one who had so lately been their scourge, while many of the earl’s Yorkist followers found the change more than they could bear. There was thus little real opposition to Edward, who, having secured Burgundian aid, returned from Flushing to land at Ravenspur (March 1471) in a manner reminiscent of Henry IV. His forces met those of Warwick on April 14 in the Battle of Barnet, in which Edward outmaneuvered Warwick, regained the loyalty of the duke of Clarence, and decisively defeated Warwick, who was slain in the battle. On the same day, Margaret and her son, who had hitherto refused to return from France, landed at Weymouth. Hearing the news of Barnet, she marched west, trying to reach the safety of Wales, but Edward won the race to the Severn. In the Battle of Tewkesbury (May 4) Margaret was captured, her forces destroyed, and her son killed. Shortly afterward Henry VI was murdered in the Tower of London Margaret remained in custody until being ransomed by Louis XI in 1475. Edward’s throne was secure for the rest of his life (he died in 1483).

In 1483 Edward’s brother Richard III, overriding the claims of his nephew, the young Edward V, alienated many Yorkists, who then turned to the last hope of the Lancastrians, Henry Tudor (later Henry VII). With the help of the French and of Yorkist defectors, Henry defeated and killed Richard at Bosworth Field on August 22, 1485, bringing the wars to a close. By his marriage to Edward IV’s daughter Elizabeth of York in 1486, Henry united the Yorkist and Lancastrian claims. Henry defeated a Yorkist rising supporting the pretender Lambert Simnel on June 16, 1487, a date which some historians prefer over the traditional 1485 for the termination of the wars.


4. Edward iv and the Wars of the Roses (Paperback)

Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. Indisputably the most effective general of the Wars of the Roses, Edward IV died in his bed, undefeated in battle. Yet Edward has not achieved the martial reputation of other warrior kings such as Henry V - perhaps because he fought his battles against his own people. It has also been suggested that he lacked the personal discipline expected of a truly greatcommander. But as David Santiuste shows in this perceptive and highly readable new study, Edward was a formidable military leader whose strengths and subtlety have not been fully recognized.On the battlefield he was an audacious soldier, fighting like a lion to defend his rights, although he also possessed a cool head that allowed him to withdraw when the odds were against him. His court was a centre of chivalry, but he did not seek military glory for its own sake. For Edward, warfare was always a means to an end - indeed he often preferred to forgive his enemies rather than destroy them. And yet, in 1461 and 1471, he waged two brutal and relentless campaigns, crushing all the opposition in his path.David Santiuste's reassessment of Edward's military role, and of the Wars of the Roses in which he played such a vital part, gives a fascinating insight into Edward the man and into the politics and the fighting.Based on contemporary sources and the latest scholarly research, Edward IV and the Wars of the Roses brings to life an extraordinary period of English history. Seller Inventory # BZV9781848845497


A scandalous marriage

The Earl of Warwick started the 1460s as the key figure in government, with key military and diplomatic responsibilities that helped secure Edward’s newly won kingdom. However, as the decade progressed, Warwick’s control over the young king waned as Edward sought his council less and less. The key division between the two men was foreign policy, a key aspect of medieval government.

Yorkist king, Edward IV. Wikimedia

In 1464, Edward secretly married Elizabeth Woodville, the widow of a knight killed fighting for the Lancastrians three years earlier. This was a scandalous marriage. Kings married to form wider alliances that would benefit the kingdom, never for love. The ceremony also occurred as Warwick was negotiating a union with a French princess, causing the earl much embarrassment.

A connected issue was the different visions that Edward and Warwick had of England’s role within wider European politics.

France was also politically unstable at the time, with Louis XI (nicknamed the “Universal Spider”) clashing with many of his leading subjects, particularly the Duke of Burgundy who had significant independent power.

Earl of Warwick, also known as ‘the King Maker’. Wikimedia

While Warwick favoured an alliance with Louis, Edward preferred an alliance with the Duke of Burgundy.

The duke was more than simply a subject of the French king as Burgundy ruled over the Low Countries, which constituted much of modern-day Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. As such, Edward believed an alliance with Burgundy would provide England with stronger commercial ties with many Flemish and Dutch towns.

It also had the added advantage of avoiding an unpopular alliance with one of England’s traditional enemies, the French. The alliance was cemented when Edward secured the marriage of his sister to the duke in 1468.


The Lance and Longbow Society


This book chronicles the life of Edward IV and the monumental battles that he took charge of during the Wars of the Roses.

Edward IV was indisputably the most effective general of the Wars of the Roses. His actions on the battlefields against the Lancastrians saw him become King of England twice, a title which he contended with Henry VI for almost twenty years before his sudden death in 1483 at the age of 41. Read More >>>

By Vasey Norman : Published by Pen and Sword Books

The ideals, beliefs and organisation of the common solider in the medieval period were a world apart from the technology-driven, high powered counterparts of today.

In a world of knights, crusaders and Templars, chivalry was the order of the day, a code of courtesy, generosity and valor which governed the life of the medieval aristocracy from the king himself down to the humblest knight. Read More >>>

By Christian Teutsch : Published by Pen and Sword Books


On 19 September 1356, near Poitiers in Central France, one of the most famous and decisive battles of the Hundred Years War was about to begin. 6,000 English men, lead by Edward the Black Prince, faced a battle-hardened French force commanded by King Jean II numbering 14,000 strong.

Faced with either the shame of retreat or the distinct possibility of total annihilation, Edward pitted his men against a force that was more than double his own. Read More >>>

War for the Throne - The Battle of Shrewsbury 1403

By John Barratt : Published by Pen and Sword Books

The great battles of the Wars of the Roses between the House of Lancaster and York in the second half of the fifteenth century are well known to most people with an interest in British history. However, while the battles at Bosworth Field, Towton and Tewkesbury may be familiar, less well known is the desperate conflict of the early years of the same century, when the new Lancastrian dynasty, headed by King Henry IV, fought a merciless struggle for survival against a host of enemies at home and abroad. Read More >>>

To purchase this and other great books from Pen and Swords simply click on book image above, or the banner below. By using the link on this page the Lance and Longbow Society gets a small percentage of any sales made.


The Siege of Caerlaverock Castle

Edward I was one of England’s most formidable kings – he is respected by historians for his legal reforms as well as his wars – but he is remembered rather differently in Scotland. In the last years of his reign he waged a series of bloody campaigns, seeking to impose his rule over the Scots by force of arms. In 1298 he won a crushing victory at the Battle of Falkirk, avenging an English defeat at Stirling Bridge, although this failed to bring him the ultimate outcome he craved. Thereafter the conflict became a war of attrition, as many Scots continued with dogged opposition.

In the summer of 1300 Edward summoned an army to assemble at Carlisle. The plan was to establish English control in the south-west of Scotland – traditionally a volatile region which was then proving especially troublesome. There was a centre of Scottish resistance at Caerlaverock Castle (to the south-east of Dumfries), whose garrison enjoyed regular skirmishes with English forces. Scottish lords who were influential in this area included members of the powerful Comyn family, who were Edward’s foremost enemies at this time.

Caerlaverock Castle (Gernot Keller)

An important source for the ensuing campaign is an anonymous poem, The Song of Caerlaverock, which describes the early part of Edward’s expedition. The poet, who was probably a herald, took pains to record the names of the leading men who took part, along with their arms. His work is therefore a useful source for the composition of the English army. The poem also includes brief pen portraits of some of Edward’s commanders, such as Nicholas Segrave, whom ‘nature had adorned in body and enriched in heart’. Special praise is reserved for Robert Clifford: ‘If I were a young maiden, I would give him my heart and person, so great is his fame’. King Edward’s followers are presented here as if they were the heroes of a chivalric romance. That is not to say, however, that the author could not also be a keen observer of military events.

Edward himself arrived at Carlisle on 25 June, and the army marched north in the first week of July. Here is a translation of the Caerlaverock poet’s description of the scene, as the campaign now began in earnest:

There were many rich caparisons embroidered on silks and satins many a beautiful pennon fixed to a lance and many a banner displayed. And afar off was the noise heard of the neighing of horses: mountains and valleys were everywhere covered with sumpter horses and wagons with provisions, and sacks of tents and pavilions. And the days were long and fine.

Edward and his army advanced into Scotland via Annandale, stopping off at the royal pele of Lochmaben. At length, on 9 July, the English forces bore down upon Caerlaverock, where Edward laid siege.

Tents and huts were put up for the soldiers, enhanced by ‘leaves, herbs and flowers gathered in the woods, which were strewed within’. As usual, the Caerlaverock poem conveys an impression of splendour: ‘and one saw gold and silver, and of all rich colours the noblest and the best, entirely illuminating the valley’. One might well imagine there is more than a pinch of poetic license here, although other sources do suggest that a military encampment could be an impressive sight – at least before mud and perhaps rain had quenched some of its glamour.

The tents of noble warriors could be spectacular, embellished with beautiful embroidery and distinctive features such as cloth towers. They could also be very expensive. In preparations for his first campaign, in 1307, Edward’s grandson Gilbert de Clare spent the large sum of £39 on five tents: these included a hall (which was forty feet long) a wardrobe chamber a combined pantry and buttery and two stables. Having set up camp, servants would work hard to ensure their masters were well catered for we also know that Gilbert travelled with a wide range of cooking utensils, including bronze pots, a gridiron and two enormous cooking pans. Of course, though, despite the provision of certain comforts and welcome flashes of colour, life on campaign was still a long way removed from the existence the elite enjoyed in times of peace.

An aerial view of the castle (Simon Ledingham)

In 1300 Caerlaverock Castle was a still a recent addition to the local landscape. It had been constructed in the 1270s, when the lords of Caerlaverock, the Maxwells, had abandoned a smaller site nearby which was prone to flooding. The new castle was unusually shaped – as our poet describes it, it was a fortress in the shape of a shield – and it incorporated some of the latest facets of design. There were round towers at two points of the triangle, which enabled enfilade shooting along the length of the wall, but these were dwarfed by Caerlaverock’s most significant feature: its formidable twin-towered gatehouse (which also housed the lord’s apartments). A powerful gatehouse of this type was also a feature at Kildrummy Castle, which was later strengthened on Edward I’s orders, as well as at his great castles in Wales.

Caerlaverock, it must be stressed, was not one of Scotland’s largest castles, but it was well-sited for defence. The Caerlaverock poem explains that it could only be approached from the east, because on the other sides it was protected by the sea, woods and marshes. After drawing our attention to the ‘good walls’ and deep moat, the poet tells us it was a ‘strong castle, which did not fear a siege’. The defences at Caerlaverock appear to have been further strengthened by a brattice, or hoarding: this was a wooden shed-like structure, providing additional protection and shooting opportunities for the defenders, which was attached to the top of the walls and projected outwards.

At the beginning of the siege a parley took place. None of the Maxwells were present (the current lord was at that time a prisoner in England), but the constable, Walter Benechafe, was prepared to seek terms. The defenders offered to give up the castle if they would be permitted to depart unharmed with their goods (including their arms and horses). But as the chronicler Rishanger tells the story, Edward responded to this suggestion ‘like a lioness whose cubs have been taken from her’. Given that the Scots were facing overwhelming odds, the king was infuriated by what he saw as Benechafe’s effrontery, and no agreement for surrender could be reached. Thereafter the English onslaught began.

Edward did not risk his own person under the walls of Caerlaverock, but his men-at-arms were keen to prove their valour whilst a frontal assault might seem foolhardy, a successful escalade could bring great honour to the men who effected an entrance to the castle. English exploits were diligently recorded by the Caerlaverock poet, as the garrison provided a stubborn defence. We learn, for example, of the fortitude of Ralph de Gorges, ‘a newly dubbed knight’: Gorges was knocked to the ground several times by stones hurled from the walls, but ‘he would not deign to retire’.

Gorges, of course, was not acting alone: many others, we are told, braved arrows or bolts from crossbows. As the poem depicts the English attack, there would seem to have been a strongly competitive element the author took great pains, again, to record the arms or banners of the knights and nobles involved. From a more practical perspective his work appears to suggest that Edward’s men focused most of their efforts on the gatehouse, although it is not clear what methods they employed. This is largely due to the poet’s emphasis on the deeds of great men. There is no mention, for instance, of Englishmen using crossbows or longbows, although these must surely have been in evidence.

We do learn that the castle was also subjected to a bombardment from Edward’s siege machines. The engineering corps was under the direction of ‘Brother Robert’, who was perhaps a Dominican friar. Evidently this bellicose clergyman knew his business, as records show that he was employed by Edward for several months.

Brother Robert’s efforts began with a machine called ‘the Robinet’, which hurled stones against the castle, although at the same time he was also supervising the fabrication of three much larger weapons. The parts for these engines were landed at Caerlaverock’s small harbour (the sea has now retreated from the castle), along with a welcome replenishment of supplies. These weapons were almost certainly trebuchets: the most formidable machines that could be deployed by a besieging army before the introduction of cannon.

Replica trebuchets at Château de Castelnaud (Luc Viator)

Brother Robert’s siege engines wreaked havoc on the castle’s defences. The wear and tear on the mechanism ensured that it was not possible to maintain a continuous rate of fire – medieval sources suggest that trebuchets might launch between ten and twelve missiles over the course of a day – and few trebuchets possessed the capability to smash their way through strongly built walls. Nevertheless, a well-directed trebuchet would make short work of wooden hoardings or other additional structures the key role played by such machines was to undermine the effectiveness of the defences as fighting platforms, making the castle more vulnerable to escalade. It is also very likely that the majority of missiles were sent over the walls, rather than against them directly. Apparently Brother Robert’s most significant achievement was to bring down the roof of the gatehouse. According to the poet, the beleaguered garrison saw this as a decisive moment.

After a day and a half of gruelling punishment, the defenders now considered their position was untenable, and they could take no more. The sixty-strong garrison put themselves completely at Edward’s mercy, and their surrender was now accepted. The Caerlaverock poem implies the defenders had won Edward’s respect: not only were the garrison granted ‘life and limb’, they also each received a ‘new robe’. For the author of the poem, with his clear emphasis on chivalric mores, Edward’s generosity provided a fitting end to the siege. Unfortunately, however, modern historians have been unable to find any evidence of Edward’s largesse in administrative records.

Other sources suggest the Caerlaverock garrison was harshly treated. The constable and twenty-one others were imprisoned in northern England the Lanercost Chronicle tells us specifically that ‘many’ of the defenders were hanged. Moreover, whereas the Caerlaverock poet presented the siege as a marvellous spectacle, Peter Langtoft was rather less impressed. His account provides a rather less heroic impression of the siege. He tells us that heavy rain caused flooding, which caused Edward to go a different way to the one planned. It was thus the English came to Caerlaverock, which Langtoft describes as a ‘poor little castle’. In Langtoft’s work the stalwart defenders of the Caerlaverock poem become ‘ribalds’, who were ‘vanquished at the entrance’.

In truth, Caerlaverock Castle was no match for the English royal army, but Langtoft surely underestimated the importance of Edward’s victory. Today Caerlaverock is a pleasant backwater, but in the Middle Ages the sea-lanes were more important and the castle’s coastal location was significant. We have also seen that its garrison had hindered English attempts to establish secure control of the wider area. It is therefore very likely that Caerlaverock was a key target. That said, it can be safely assumed that Edward hoped for further gains, although a skirmish by the River Cree was inconclusive. The English campaign of this year achieved little else of note.

Later campaigns did lead to the submissions of most of the Scottish leaders, and by 1305 it must have appeared that Edward had won. The execution of William Wallace was probably intended to mark a symbolic end to the conflict (at least in part), but Robert the Bruce’s rebellion meant the war began again. Edward made a final attempt to subdue the Scots in the summer of 1307 – he set out from Carlisle on yet another campaign – but the effects of age and illness were now increasingly clear. He died at Burgh by Sands on 6 July, bitterly aware that a final victory remained as elusive as ever.


1. EDWARD IV AND THE WARS OF THE ROSES

Book Description Soft Cover. Condition: Brand New. No Jacket. Reprinted. [2015] Brand New. 192pp. Ilstd. Indisputably the most effective general of the Wars of the Roses, Edward IV died in his bed, undefeated in battle. Yet Edward has not achieved the martial reputation of other warrior kings such as Henry V - perhaps because he fought battles against his own people in a civil war. It has also been suggested that he lacked the personal discipline expected of a truly great commander. But, as David Santiuste shows in this perceptive and highly readable new study, Edward was a formidable military leader whose strengths and subtlety have not been fully recognized. This reassessment of Edward's military role, and of the Wars of the Roses in which he played such a vital part, gives a fascinating insight into Edward the man and into the politics and the fighting. Pictorial card covers. Clean bright tight unmarked. For full appreciation see pictures. Order with confidence - trusted seller with excellent customer feedback. [Est 1969] as. Seller Inventory # 031813


Edward IV and the Wars of the Roses

Indisputably the most effective general of the Wars of the Roses, Edward IV died in his bed, undefeated in battle. Yet Edward has not achieved the martial reputation of other warrior kings such as Henry V – perhaps because he fought battles against his own people in a civil war. It has also been suggested that he lacked the personal discipline expected of a truly great commander. But, as David Santiuste shows in this perceptive and highly readable study, Edward was a formidable military leader whose strengths and subtlety have not been fully recognized. This reassessment of Edward’s military role, and of the Wars of the Roses in which he played such a vital part, gives a fascinating insight into Edward the man as well as the politics and the fighting. Based on contemporary sources and the latest scholarly research, Edward IV and the Wars of the Roses brings to life an extraordinary period of English history.

“A pleasing and well-informed appraisal of the first Yorkist king. Santiuste provides a clear and cogent survey of the battles that put Edward on the throne, and the ones that kept him there” (Dr Michael Jones, co-author of The King’s Grave: The Search for Richard III)

“A valuable and thought-provoking addition to the canon, which ought to become required reading for anyone interested in the reign of the first Yorkist monarch” (Dr Hannes Kleineke, The Ricardian)

“Altogether, this well-researched, cogently argued and eminently readable account paints a vivid picture of Edward IV as a courageous and able soldier” (Helen Cox, Towton Battlefield Society)



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