The Last White Rose: The Secret Wars of the Tudors

Desmond Seward. Pegasus (Norton, dist.), $28.95 (448p) ISBN 978-1-60598-549-7
British historian Seward’s long-awaited sequel to his critically acclaimed 1995 history of late medieval England, The Wars of the Roses and the Lives of Five Men and Women in the Fifteenth Century, is an intriguing addition to the growing body of revisionist Tudor history. Contrary to popular belief, the Wars of the Roses did not end after Henry Tudor defeated Richard III in 1485 and unified the Houses of York and Plantagenet by marrying Elizabeth of York. Seward argues that there was great insecurity, fear, and even paranoia behind the Tudor façade of stability, magnificence, and power. Throughout their reigns, both Henry VII and Henry VIII had to contend regularly with rebellions, conspiracies, and plots hatched both internally and abroad by those who sought to rid England of a dynasty that so many regarded as having little or no legitimate claim to the throne. The policy of both monarchs—to neutralize pretenders and rival claimants to the throne by imprisonment or other means—increasingly became one of elimination on the slightest pretext, including, in Henry VIII’s later years, the execution of the elderly Margaret of Salisbury, for the crime of being the last White Rose. Seward delivers a scholarly yet engaging account of an era that continues to fascinate. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/13/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 281 pages - 978-1-84901-802-9
Paperback - 413 pages - 978-1-84901-980-4
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-60598-590-9
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-1-60598-838-2
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