Blood and Roses: One Family's Struggle and Triumph During the Tumultuous Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses tore England asunder. Over the course of thirty years, four kings lost their thrones, countless men lost their lives on the battlefield or their heads on the block, and others found themselves suddenly flush with gold. Yet until now, little has been written about the ordinary people who lived through this extraordinary time.
Blood and Roses is a gr...more
The Pastons were bonded farmers. Thanks to the social and economic upheaval caused by the plagues, they were able to send their son, William, to be trained as a lawyer. (Actually, his uncle paid for it.) William became a judge, and he started to buy lan ...more
The Pastons’ determination to rise in the world at whatever cost plunged them into the thick of a brutal civil war in which it was imperative to find a powerful nobleman as patron and protector — which in turn meant that his enemies became their own, and that his backing the losing side in the dyn ...more
Helen Castor has done a wonderful job of putting the Paston Letters into context, both historical and familial, so that in reading this book it is not only clear what is happening in England during the struggle between various noble families and the King of England, but how this impacted people like the Pastons, who were powerless when England degenerated into chaos, and greedy neighbors seized their ...more
For any who have trouble tracking the many shifting players and alliances that populated these civil wars Cas ...more
Also interesting is: the combination of warring magnates, weak kings and up and coming courtiers determined to rise their status (possible in a society convulsed first by the Black Death - leading to a rise in the power of the low ...more
Castor's exhaustive research shows as she reconstructs the history of the Paston family and its attempts to climb the social ladder of the landed gentry. In 15th century England, there is no title insurance. You can lose your land to claims of others who may be the progeny of previous owners, or may be just better connected. You can also lose it in a sieg ...more
The way this ...more
That being said, this is a well-written and well-researched book, with appropriate footnotes and references. It gives a close-up view of the viol ...more
Generally a good work on about the lives and struggles of the Self-made Paston family who rose from the ranks of peasantry during turbulent era of the Wars of the Roses.
'The Paston letters' from which most of what we know about the Pastons surviving are the largest collection of surviving personal letters from the later Middle Ages.
The political realities and upheavals of the age are here, along with ...more
Helen Castor uses the Paston letters to tell both the national story of the Houses of Lancaster and York, and the local story of the Paston family's progress from tenant farmers to landed gentry.
It's a splendid book which makes the late medieval period and the individua ...more
General Subject/s? - History / Wars of the Roses / Plantagenet
Recommend? – Ma ...more
Her book Blood & Roses (Faber, 2004, published in revised form in the US by HarperCollins, 2006) is a biography of the fifteenth-century Paston family, whose letters ...more