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The Last White Rose: Dynasty, Rebellion and Treason. The Secret Wars against the Tudors
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The Last White Rose: Dynasty, Rebellion and Treason. The Secret Wars against the Tudors

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  203 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
The Wars of the Roses didn't end at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. Despite the death of Richard III and Henry VII's victory, it continued underground into the following century with plots, pretenders and subterfuge by the ousted white rose faction. Here, Desmond Seward reviews the story of the Tudors' seizure of the throne.
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Constable & Robinson
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Putting to rest the idea that Yorkist resistance ended at Stoke Field, Seward reveals the decades of animosity between the Tudors and the Plantagenet remnant. Both Henry VII and VIII lived in almost constant suspicion of those with any trace of royal blood, leading to the "legal murders" of dozens of members of England's nobility. Last White Rose is a comprehensive analysis of the final death throes of the Plantagenet dynasty.

I enjoyed this chronological study of the plots, real and imagined, to
John  Bellamy
May 11, 2012 John Bellamy rated it liked it
Blame it on Shakespeare’s immortal history plays and Thomas B. Costain’s now forgotten tetralogy on the Plantagenet kings . Thanks to an obsessive adolescent reading of these two beguiling misleaders I have long cherished the conviction that the War of the Roses ended at Bosworth field on an August day in 1485. Boy, was I wrong! As Desmond Seward’s minutely chronicled Last White Rose reveals, Henry of Richmond’s defeat and killing of Richard III only opened a new and even more protracted phase ...more
Oct 14, 2011 Helen rated it liked it
Mr. Seward very wisely does not go into the mystery of the princes in the Tower, probably because there wasn't violence begun on their behalf until Perkin Warbeck and that he does deal with. He also does not deal with the peculiar attitude of Edward's queen toward sanctuary. Once past that point and Henry safely married to Edward's daughter to unite the roses, hence the Tudor two toned rose, things should have settled down and they probably would have if Henry hadn't been so paranoid. All ...more
Jun 19, 2012 Steph rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Very interesting subject matter and quite a few things I didn't know before, just a shame the author's pro-Catholic, anti-Tudor bias was so evident on every page!
Marty Monahan
Jan 14, 2011 Marty Monahan rated it it was amazing
Helps to understand why Henry VIII was such a prick.
This book almost entirely focuses on the Yorkist legacy throughout the reigns of Henry vii and viii. While appropriate given the title, it covers a vast stretch of history with what I believe is an assumption that the reader already has all the background established. I found the first half on Henry vii a little hard to follow, as I wasn't as familiar with the names and events. I found the section on Henry viii more engaging, but then again, I am far more familiar with that time period. An ...more
Jan 23, 2016 Sud666 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, favorites
Excellent history book. Well written and never dry or boring. It sheds an interesting light on the troubles that Henry VII and Henry VIII had with removing the threat of the house of York (White Rose symbol) completely from threatening the Tudor dynasty. While quite familiar with Henry VIII and his reign-this book added much needed information on the variety of threats encountered and just how insecure the Tudor line almost was. If you are interested in the Tudor period or the War of the Roses ...more
Susan Paxton
May 29, 2014 Susan Paxton rated it really liked it
Very well written account of the Yorkist opposition to the Tudor crime family; Seward has assembled a gallery of characters, some curious, some dubious (Perkin Warbeck), and some noble (Reginald Pole), and has placed them into a narrative rife with plots, schemes, and miscalculations. The book assumes you have some working knowledge of the period and backstory of the Wars of the Roses, but Seward does a great job is clearly laying out a part of the story of the reigns of Henry VII and VIII that ...more
Phil Syphe
Nov 27, 2016 Phil Syphe rated it really liked it
I read this because I'm intrigued by the de la Pole brothers - John, Edmund, and Richard - who each in turn made a bid to reclaim the English crown for the Yorkists and Plantagenets alike.

All three had more right to rule than the Tudors, as did all others who took up the White Rose banner, yet none succeeded in toppling the Tudor Dynasty.

This did not, however, mean Henrys VII and VIII weren't worried. In fact, they spent the whole reigns haunted by the White Rose.
Nov 01, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: history, yorkism
I would have given it four stars since it was such a well-researched and informative book, even though I needed to take frequent breaks in order to absorb all of the information, which was overwhelming at times. I'll settle for 3.5 stars though since a few of Mr. Seward's opinions dominated the tone of the book and began to irritate me.

I'd definitely recommend a background book on the Wars of the Roses before delving into this even more complicated sequel, as the names often carry over from the
Sep 30, 2016 Mike added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 30, 2015 J.R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”

Shakespeare’s comment is a fitting description of this study by Desmond Seward. Though it might seem the victory of the Tudor usurper over Richard III at Bosworth assured the reign of Henry VII and his heirs, but it was not so.

Henry’s avarice and unpopularity contributed to aid conspiracies by both supporters of the rightful Yorkist heirs as well as a variety of pretenders for the 24 years leading to his death and were a contributing factor in the parano
Aug 20, 2014 MeriBeth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
An extremely in-depth, and thus overwhelmingly full of names and dates, history of the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII, The Last White Rose attempts to explain the extremes to which both Tudor kings went to in order to maintain their hold on the throne. While the history in question is quite interesting, the authorial bias toward the Yorkists, the White Rose, of the period was so readily apparent that as a reader I was ready to give up long before I finished the first third of the book. I con ...more
Andrew Bullock
Although Seward deserves some credit for tackling the complexities of the English political situation in the reign of Henry VII, I found it impossible to take this book seriously as a work of history - it is entirely partisan in its presentation of the Yorkists(and Catholics) as victims of an unlawful Tudor (and Protestant) regime, does not make any allowances for the possibility that any considerations other than naked self-interest may have underpinned Tudor policy (or indeed that the Catholic ...more
Oct 15, 2014 Temashana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I concede. Rarely do I like to quit a book before the end, but the frustration this book causes makes it the only thing to do.
Mr Seward clearly is unfamiliar with writing a history book based on research and facts. One wonders who would publish this AS a history book? It's more like a one man tirade against the Tudors. His little digs here and there make him sound like a teenager with a grudge.
Perhaps he is a descendent is the Yorkists and feels like he must take revenge for what he thinks the
Aug 15, 2014 Sara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
This book gave me some great insights into the world of the Tudors. We often criticize Henry VIII for his obsession with having a son - well, look at what happened to his grandfather Edward IV when he died while his sons were still young! I'm not making excuses for Henry by any means, just trying to put his acts into perspective. I've read about all of these subjects before - the de la Pole family, the young Earl of Warwick, Perkin Warbeck, etc. but this book does go into great detail about what ...more
Nelina Kapetsoni
The book is interesting and well written. But as others here have already noted the author is certainly biased. Although his attitude towards Henry VII borders objectivity, when the story comes to Henry VIII all hell breaks loose. The writer totally hates him and I don't remember how many times he talked about the king's monstrous obesity using this exact same phrase. Unfortunately, things like this weaken the book's arguments which are otherwise strong and intriguing. Insulting a dead man is ...more
Helene Harrison
Review - A very interesting discussion of the effect of the remaining Yorkist (white rose) heirs, descending from the siblings of Edward IV in general, on the Tudor monarchy. The main problems occurred during the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII. Henry VII had real problems to contend with, whereas Henry VIII believed that the problem was in their blood, not their actions. However, I do think that more detail could have been added in certain sections, like the Pilgrimage of Grace and Reginald ...more
Kathy Wainwright
Apr 25, 2015 Kathy Wainwright rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 06, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it
This book took a while to read, not because I did not enjoy it but because each chapter lead me into further research - names, characters and incidents I wanted to explore further. I will certainly keep returning to this as a background reference as I continue to delve further into the paranoia of establishing the Tudor dynasty.
Lori Nemitz
Jul 27, 2015 Lori Nemitz rated it it was ok
The subject is interesting, however it seemed a bit disjointed. I know that there were many plots and many people involved, but the writing style didn't seem to be one that made it easier to keep track of the different people and plots.
Dec 12, 2014 Caroline rated it liked it
Shelves: abandoned
I didn't finish it because it got repetitive - but it was very interesting to understand that there was so much going on to make Henry VII insecure on his throne.
Christopher Roth
May 22, 2015 Christopher Roth rated it really liked it
Very well done. The best book out there on the aftermath of the War of the Roses and the slow demise of the Plantagenets.
Daniel rated it liked it
Feb 18, 2013
Tom Garner
Tom Garner rated it really liked it
Jun 21, 2014
Connie Lamanna
Connie Lamanna rated it really liked it
Jan 03, 2015
Michelle Herr
Michelle Herr rated it really liked it
Jan 30, 2015
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Victoria Johnston rated it really liked it
Apr 26, 2016
J Roberts
J Roberts rated it it was amazing
Jun 28, 2014
Elitza Nicolaou
Elitza Nicolaou rated it really liked it
Dec 06, 2015
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Desmond Seward is a British popular historian and the author of many books about in Britain and France in the late Middle Ages.
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