Monday, 7 August 2017

The Wars of the Roses by Hourly History – Book Review

This is a short account of the event in English history during the 15th Century; The Wars of the Roses, an event that has inspired several other stories, with the most famous one being The Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) by George R.R. Martin.

The book starts with the description of the events leading up to the war of succession to the English throne, caused by the turmoil after the English defeat to the French in the Hundred Years war. This started as an internal power struggle within the ruling House of Plantagenet between the cadet branches of House of York and House of Lancaster; with the ruling king being Henry VI, a member of the House of Lancaster. Over the 30 years of the war, the power changed hands several times, the House of York was in power for twenty years before the war ended and the Tudor era began.

The book made a proper start, that is, from the Hundred Years war before getting into the finer details and the breakout of a gruesome war. I was always interested in knowing about the details mainly because of my following of British sports and very often references are made to the Roses Rivalry, whenever there is a match between Yorkshire and Lancashire (in cricket); as the House of York was symbolised by a white rose and the House of Lancaster by a red rose and the same logos are used by the respective cricket teams. The book was concise, while managing to give a crux of what had happened during the War of Roses and the detailed account of how the fortunes turned for both sides throughout and its eventual conclusion.

The only issue I found was that considering all these are coming from one publishing house, one book should not contradict with another; while it is evident that the Hundred Years War resulted in a defeat for the English forces and the book stated the same, rightly so, in a book of Hourly History called British History in 50 events, the same claimed that it was a status quo ante bellum with no clear winner.

Based on the above, I would award the book a rating of seven on ten; it is a good read for those who are interested in English history and also, all those Game of Thrones fanatics, who could spend some forty minutes knowing about the event that inspired the story.

Rating – 7/10

Have a nice day,


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