The Wars of the Roses
Michael Hicks
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The Wars of the Roses (Essential Histories #54)

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  50 ratings  ·  9 reviews

The Wars of the Roses (1455–85) were a major turning point in English history. But the underlying causes for the successive upheavals have been hotly contested by historians ever since. In this original and stimulating new synthesis, distinguished historian Michael Hicks examines the difficult economic, military, and financial crises and explains, for the first time, the r

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Published October 26th 2010 (first published April 20th 2003)
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Michael Hicks excels in his specialist period of expertise in this comprehensive, concise and perhaps somewhat controversial work in which he challenges many long-held assumptions about the key figures and events in the Wars of the Roses, and demonstrates how some of these have their origins in Yorkist propaganda.

Were the wars until 1460 truly a dynastic struggle? Contemporaries did not think so, and until this time, Hicks shows the Yorkist faction stated that their main aim was political reform...more
Mike Luoma
Well. That was interesting. Historian Michael Hicks sets out to reassess the "Wars of the Roses" - boy, does he ever! Hicks contends that much of the contemporary material we have from the period, loosely 1460 to 1530, is tainted by propagandist overtones. This has certainly been the rallying cry of Ricardians attempting to rehabilitate the reputation of King Richard the III, as they try to strip away the centuries of spin in the "Tudor Myth". Hicks takes this many steps further, in dismissing m...more
This is not an easy read. The author is obviously knowledgeable and this book represents a culmination of tremendous knowledge and research. The book is a thesis containing a challenge to conventional thinking about the wars.

I don't fully know the conventional thinking on this war so the details on the challenge were hard to digest. I wanted to learn about the war --- and I did --- but there were narrative and organizational problems made it more difficult than it should have been.

One problem is...more
I got this book to prepare to see a version of Shakespeare's Richard III. To appreciate any of the histories, I have tried to review my English history a bit. Richard III is located at the end of the War of the Roses, which is a very confusing time period with lots of battles, lots of ups and downs and betrayals by the various supports of York and Lancaster. The Hicks book provided some background to the wars and it was helpful, although it is very hard to keep track of everything. That is proba...more
I did NOT finish this book. I decided that it would be a completely waste of time after reading a third of it and still hadn't gotten anything useful out of it. Not because there wasn't anything useful in it´. But because it was so unbelievably pretentious that I hardly understood a word of it. Obviously Michael Hicks is extremely smart and knows a lot about the Wars of the Roses. He just doesn't have the talent of conveying his knowledge. If I hadn't known just a little about the people and hap...more
Ellisha Louise
I am starting uni in September studying medieval history so i picked up this book for a bit of background. I thought it was very good and extreamly detailed to give you a full rounded image of all three wars and the more intracate points of the politics and rivalries surrounding them
Interesting and informative, but a bit too scholarly for me at this moment. I think I need to learn about the Wars of the Roses from Horrible Histories.
Teufel Wolf
The war of roses seems more like soap opera of gang fights.
Sep 18, 2010 Susan marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Got this in the mail today--looks meaty!
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Michael Hicks (born 1948) is an English historian, specialising on the history of late medieval England, in particular the Wars of the Roses. Hicks studied with C. A. J. Armstrong and Charles Ross while a student at the University of Bristol. He is today Professor of Mediev...more
More about Michael Hicks...
Anne Neville: Queen to Richard III Richard III (Revealing History) Warwick the Kingmaker Edward V: The Prince in the Tower Who's Who in Late Medieval England: 1272-1485

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