The Wars of the Roses

The second half of the fifteenth century was one of the most turbulent periods of English history. Popular knowledge of the bitter struggle for the throne between the rival houses of York and Lancaster derives largely from Shakespeare's history plays, which in their turn were coloured by Tudor propaganda, and most books on the Wars of the Roses have concentrated on politics and personalities. This new edition of Anthony Goodman's highly successful volume The Wars of the Roses is a military as well as social history of the wars. It has been expanded to include the latest research and additional maps and illustrations. In the first part of his survey Anthony Goodman presents an overall view of the campaigns, for the first skirmishes of 1452 to the last campaign in 1497, and examines the generalship of the commanders in both camps. In the second covering military organization - how armies were recruited, paid, fed, billeted, armed and deployed - he shows that in a period of rapid change in European methods of warfare the English were not so old-fashioned as has sometimes been supposed. In conclusion he assesses the effects of the wars on society in general. The book makes extensive use of fifteenth-century sources, both English and Continental, including chronicles, civic records, and letters, and presents a vivid picture of the wars as they were seen and described by contemporaries.