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 comIndisputably 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 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....
|Title||:||Edward IV and the Wars of the Roses|
|Number of Pages||:||192 Pages|
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Edward IV and the Wars of the Roses Reviews
For a general reader like myself, familiar with only a very basic outline of the Wars of the Roses, the shifting loyalties--and the shifting crown between Lancaster and York--can easily lead to confusion between historical figures and factions. While I'm reasonably conversant with the earlier medieval period of English history, I'm far less solid with the later middle ages.I was pleased that David Santiuste spends just the necessary effort to build the background necessary to understand the dynastic wars and Edward's place in them. He often tells you what you need to know just when it is convenient to know it to understand the point he is making and this is an admirable way of telling history. To the author's credit, he neither burdens the reader with a great deal of unnecessary backstory, nor does he leave one wondering and confused.Santiuste is cautious enough to advise the reader when he is speculating on his subject and discusses his historical sources and the opinions of other historians. He is quite willing to point out that there are ambiguities, contradictions and omissions in some of the historical records that could lead historians to multiple conclusions and he is competent and confident enough to offer his own conclusions without taking a disparaging view of the conclusions reached by others. This is refreshing, as I have read some history books which seem to revel in attacking the opinions of other learned scholars. Santiuste offers sound reasoning for his own conclusions and uses copious notes and references to support his case. Because of the deficiencies in the sources, Santiuste often has to make do with presenting speculation and theory on battlefield events and sequencing, but he is confident enough to build his case on logical supposition and when matters are mysterious and beyond his ability to clearly reconstruct he says so. I respect and appreciate his responsible approach in his scholarship; too many historians have muddied the waters of history by stating false assumptions with authority.Santiuste's writing style is clear, precise and easy to follow, despite the fact that the narrative must negotiate a difficult path of treachery, shifting allegiances and chance occurrences. Despite conflicting, biased and often incomplete sources, not to mention a cast of figures which often share the same names (i.e. multiple Edwards, Richards Henrys, Charles and a swarm of Nevilles and Woodvilles, among others), Santiuste keeps his narrative clear. It's an impressive feat.All in all, I learned a great deal about the character of Edward IV through this study of his generalship in the Wars of the Roses and I learned a lot about the nature of the conflict itself. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in delving into the character of this interesting and probably underrated late medieval monarch.
How much do you really know about King Edward IV? If, like me, you were intrigued to find out more about the strangely two dimensional husband of the BBC’s ‘White Queen,’ then David Santiuste’s book is a great place to start. Fast paced and well researched, this book challenges the established views of Edward Plantagenet. New perspectives are offered by setting the generally accepted accounts of chroniclers firmly in the context of their time.Everything his predecessor Henry VI had failed to be, Edward was over six foot tall and charismatic, a true warrior knight. He is often portrayed as a womaniser, manipulated by others, yet David reminds us that many of the criticisms of him can be traced to his young brother, Richard III. I was particularly interested in his complex relationship with the Earl of Warwick which was so central to any understanding of the Wars of the Roses.His marriage to Elizabeth Woodville is typical of Edward’s very modern way of doing things. There is no mystery - he married for love, fully aware of the consequences. Now being described as one of the most successful medieval kings, Edward IV saw the wisdom of appointing people on merit and, after the Battle of Barnet, presided over twelve years of peace and prosperity.I highly recommend Edward IV and the Wars of the Roses to anyone who would like to understand more about this enigmatic king and this fascinating period of English history.
This is an okay survey of the battles won by Edward IV during the Wars of the Roses, but sometimes falls short of wanted details on the battles themselves - a bit frustrating as the book's blurb claims to contain those details. Ofttimes, those specifics simply are not available to the historian unwilling to speculate, and Santiuste seems to try to steer clear of too much in the way of speculation, which is a commendable trait. Not so commendable is Santiuste's handling of the changeable titles of the period - his shorthand occasionally left this reader flipping pages back to the index - "Wait... which Somerset??" To be fair, the account of Edward's last battle against the Lancastrians at Tewkesbury is well detailed and considered. On the whole, the book is extensively notated and draws from a number of contemporary and near-contemporary sources. It can be a bit dry to read.
A solid academic study of Edward IV's political struggles and military campaigns against Lancastrian opponents during the first half of the Wars of the Roses (1455-1485). The Wars of the Roses is a complex, confusing subject. However, David Santiuste provides a readable, easy way to follow the ups and downs of the conflicts by skillfully using contemporary sources and focusing on the military career of Edward Plantagenet. Santiuste describes Edward's experiences in warfare beginning with the battle of Northampton in 1460. Edward became the Duke of York and the Yorkist claimant to the English throne after the death of his father at the battle of Wakefield (1460). With the support of his cousin Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick, the nineteen-year-old Edward of York defeated the Lancastrian armies of Henry VI of England at the battles of Mortimer's Cross (1461) and Towton (1461), and then took London and claimed the English throne. In 1469, a rebellion by Warwick and his supporters led to the defeat of the Yorkist army at the battle of Edgecote (1469) and the capture of Edward IV, but Warwick and Edward IV soon established a fragile, short-lived peace. The author notes the many rebel uprisings in the era, especially in northern England, and the king's actions to put them down, including his victory at the battle of Empingham (1470). Even so, Warwick and the Duke of Clarence forced Edward IV to flee overseas to Burgundy in 1470, resulting in the restoration of Henry VI, under Warwick's control, for a short time. Edward IV returned to England, gained control of London, and then defeated Warwick and the Earl of Oxford at the battle of Barnet (1471), and next the Duke of Somerset and the Lancastrians at the battle of Tewkesbury (1471). Edward IV's victory was complete. He would rule England until his sudden death at the age of thirty-nine. Santiuste calls Edward IV "a courageous and talented soldier" (p.146). I highly recommend this study on the Wars of the Roses.
A fairly good introduction to the military life of Edward IV. It gives a chronological layout of who did what, which role was populated by whom, and how the events of the Wars of the Roses unfolded during Edward's lifetime, and very very briefly what happened after it. "Brief" is also the word I'd use to describe this book with. My main complaint is that it is, indeed, to brief. I found myself reading through almost all the footnotes after finishing, because I wanted to know more, get a more nuanced picture and more information. Obviously, these events took place a long time ago, and the sources will be limited. However, there were only few references to archaeological finds, and extremely little written of what they seemed to indicate. This work seems to almost completely rely on written records, even though as the writer points out, they are not always completely reliable.The descriptions of the battles are the best part of the book, and describe in some detail how medieval warfare actually was, how the rules of chivalry were either upheld or broken, how armies were arranged, which lords were looked upon as traitors and why, etc. Very interesting reading.For those ASOIAF/GOT fans who approach the War of the Roses as source material for the novels, then it is intriguing to look for similarities to the characters in Westeros. Personally I think there are quite a few parallels between Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, and Tywin Lannister; while Edward IV may mostly be compared to a young Robert Baratheon, although there are definite echoes of the Targaryen family in Edward IV and his heirs, with Elizatbeh of York ending up being his heir when all the male heirs were gone, reminiscent of Daenerys Targaryen.All in all, definitely worth a read if one is not already familiar with the War of the Roses and its battles.
This author obviously has a lot of respect for Edward IV, which shines through in every word he writes. And while this book is bursting at the seams with information, it still manages to be a fast-paced and engaging read… never too dry or academic. A true pleasure!
It was an ok book. It just wasn't for me. I was hoping for larger facts to be discussed. The Sunne Of Spendour taught me more of Edward's battle tactics than this book. I stopped reading 3/4 of the way through. I'm sorry.
This book looked at Edward IV's rise to power and reign with a focus on his military campaigns. Political and court intrigue was largely left alone which meant a different angle on what I have read previously.
Not so much EdwardDon't but this book if your looking for one to find out more about Edward iv. This is an average read of THE wars of the roses, but you learn nothing that isn't in better books. Sorely disappointed.