Lancaster & York: The Wars Of The Roses
by Alison Weir
"THE WAR BETWEEN the houses of Lancaster and York for the throne of England convulsed the kingdom between 1455 and 1487. At the centre of the trouble was the schizophrenic HenryVI, whose ineptitude led finally to war. Henry was further undermined by his queen, Margaret of Anjou, who virtually ruled England at the head of a corrupt faction.
Under her patronage, the dukes of Suffolk and Somerset became immensely powerful and gained a stranglehold over the government of England, bankrupting the royal coffers in the process, and securing dubious and hugely unpopular treaties with England's traditional enemies, France and Scotland. Eventually, Richard, Duke of York was forced to intervene, first in the name of the king, and later in an attempt to put his own son, the future Edward IV, on the throne. The conflict erupted in some of the bloodiest and most dramatic battles on English soil - St Albans, Blore Hill, lowton and for three decades England was riven by violence, treachery and deceit as both sides fought for control of the country. The war resulted in the downfall of the houses of Lancaster and York, and the emergence of the illustrious Tudor dynasty.