Lancaster Against York: The Wars of the Roses and the Foundation of Modern Britain

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In this sweeping history, Trevor Royle details one of the bloodiest episodes in British history. The prize was the crown of England, and the players were the rival houses of Lancaster and York. The dynastic quarrel threatened the collapse of the monarchy as a succession of weak rulers failed to deal with an overzealous aristocracy, plunging England into a series of violent encounters. The bloody battles and political intrigue between the rival heirs of King Edward III brought forth one of the most dynamic ruling families of England--the Tudors.
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About the author

Trevor Royle is a historian, specializing in war and empire. His previous books include Civil War: The Wars of Three Kingdoms, Crimea: The Great Crimean War 1854-1856, and Winds of Change: The End of Empire in Africa. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Associate Editor of The Sunday Herald. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Jul 22, 2008
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9780230613690
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Great Britain / Norman Conquest to Late Medieval (1066-1485)
History / Europe / Medieval
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A vigorous and authoritative history of last major battle fought between Scottish and English forces, ending all hope of the Stuarts reclaiming the throne and forming the bedrock for the creation of the British Empire. The Battle of Culloden in 1746 has gone down in history as the last major battle fought on British soil: a vicious confrontation between the English Royal Army and the Scottish forces supporting the Stuart claim to the throne. But this wasn't just a conflict between the Scots and the English: the battle was also part of a much larger campaign to protect the British Isles from the growing threat of a French invasion.

In Trevor Royle's vivid and evocative narrative, we are drawn into the ranks, on both sides, alongside doomed Jacobites fighting fellow Scots dressed in the red coats of the Duke of Cumberland's Royal Army.  And we meet the Duke himself, a skilled warrior who would gain notoriety because of the reprisals on Highland clans in the battle's aftermath.  Royle also takes us beyond the battle as the men of the Royal Army, galvanized by its success at Culloden, expand dramatically and start to fight campaigns overseas in America and India in order to secure British interests.  We see the revolutionary use of fighting techniques first implemented at Culloden, and we see the creation of professional fighting forces.

Culloden changed the course of British history by ending all hope of the Stuarts reclaiming the throne, cementing Hanoverian rule and forming the bedrock for the creation of the British Empire. Royle's lively and provocative history looks afresh at the period and unveils its true significance, not only as the end of a struggle for the throne but the beginning of a new global power.
The tumultuous reign of Henry VI and its climax in the carnage of Towton—the bloodiest battle fought on English soil. The battle of Towton in 1461 was unique in its ferocity and brutality, as the armies of two kings of England engaged with murderous weaponry and in appalling conditions to conclude the first War of the Roses.

Variously described as the largest, longest, and bloodiest battle on English soil, Towton was fought with little chance of escape and none of surrender. Yet, as if too ghastly to contemplate, the battle itself and the turbulent reign of Henry VI were neglected for centuries.

Combining medieval sources and modern scholarship, George Goodwin colorfully re-creates the atmosphere of fifteenth-century England. From the death of the great Henry V and his baby son’s inheritance first of England and then of France, Goodwin chronicles the vicious infighting at home in response to the vicissitudes of the Hundred Years War abroad. He vividly describes the pivotal year of 1450 and a decade of breakdown for both king and kingdom, as increasingly embittered factions struggle for a supremacy that could be secured only after the carnage of Towton.

Fatal Colours includes a cast of strong and compelling characters: a warrior queen, a ruthless king-making earl, even a papal legate who excommunicates an entire army. And at its center is the first full explanation for the crippling incapacity of the enduringly childlike Henry VI—founder of Eton and King’s College, Cambridge.

With a substantive and sparkling introduction by David Starkey, Fatal Colours brings to life a vibrant and violent age.
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