Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir review

I haven't studied Medieval politics and conflicts much (most of my Medieval reading has been about daily life). To be honest, I wanted to learn about the Wars of the Roses because I heard that G. R. R. Martin drew inspiration from them. Alison Weir's book (published by Random House / Ballantine Books) is intended for a general reader like myself, and it was a useful introduction to the period.

In reading the reviews of other books on the Wars of the Roses it seems some other authors don't offer enough detail on the principal players. Weir was skillful at portraying the histories and personalities of the multitude of characters. This is an unenviable task. The number of competing families was large, there were many important members of each family, positions held by these individuals changed frequently, and a single title applied to different men after death or loss of inheritance. Not surprisingly, there were times when I was confused, especially when the author referred to someone using his title and his surname. Overall Weir did an excellent job of presenting the ever-changing alliances and reversals of fortune which characterized the Wars of the Roses.

For more on the Game of Thrones / Wars of the Roses connection check out these articles on Mental Floss and the Daily Mail.

P.S. I'm looking forward to reading Dan Jones' Wars of the Roses (Penguin) when that book comes out later this month.

P.P.S. Front Rank Miniatures has a very nice Wars of the Roses line in 25mm metal.

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