Lancater and York is a riveting account of the Wars of the Roses, from the beloved and best-selling historian Alison Weir. The war between the houses of Lancaster and York was characterised by treachery, deceit, and bloody battles. Alison Weir's lucid and gripping account focuses on the human side of history. At the centre of the book stands Henry VI, the pious king whose mental instability led to political chaos, and his wife Margaret of Anjou, who took up her arms in her husband's cause and battled in a violent man's world.
©1995 Alison Weir (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd
The War of the Roses is a complex period of English history, but I felt that this book made it much more interesting and brought the characters to life. There's a lot of historical detail and many characters to keep track of, but I found it an engaging story. I knew the bare bones of the conflict, but learned a lot from this book. If you like history, you'll enjoy the book. The reader is good.
The content is interesting but the narrator is annoying when she does the silly voices all the time. It really breaks the pace
It is a bit dull, which is odd considering the incredible events that it covers are so dramatic. I like 'academic' presentations and I think AW does a great job in this, and her other non-fiction titles, at making history live, whilst retaining historical integrity.
But in this book, I wonder if part of the problem is the narration. The reader has a nice voice, when she is just reading. A bit querulous, but soothing. But the accents - European and all sorts of growly, British attempts, were really quite annoying. AW always tells us that, for example, the Italian Ambassador is about to speak; I do not need a theatrical Italian accent to drive this point home. If it was a novel, maybe it would be alright, but it's not.
Anyway, I carried on to the end, despite several times thinking I'd pack it in. I learned a lot, I just didn't enjoy it very much.
I bought this book because I am familiar with Shakespeare's history plays and wanted to find out more about the events of the Wars of the Roses. The book is well reasearched, full of detail and covers the period of the plays between Richard II and the end of Henry VI Part 3. It tells very clearly the gripping history of the period and the story of the vivid characters such as Queen Margaret of Anjou and Warwick the Kingmaker.
My one quibble is the same as that of a previous reviewer. The narrator is generally excellent, but I found the use of accents and voices for the quotes overdone (Allo', Allo' sometimes sprang to mind!).
I would particularly recommend this book to anyone with a knowledge of Shakespeare's history plays, particularly the Henry VI trilogy. It will enrich your enjoyment of the plays and the plays add resonance to the events narrated in the book.
I really wanted to like this book. I like the subject area , I am interested in it and wanted to learn more about a fascinating area of British History.
Unfortunately this book goes into far too much detail to retain, follow or retain interest.
The narrator also peppers the book with very dodgy foreign accents
It's been a chore ploughing through this.
The only downside with this book is its length - it's a bit of an endurance test, as the author has to reach back to the period of Richard 2nd (near 60 years before the Wars of the Roses started) to set the essential background. But once you get into the central theme of the political intrigues surrounding the reign of Henry 6th you will find yourself wanting to know what happens next (and it's usually another battle of some new act of treachery and betrayal - all great stuff !).
This is a well researched book.Full of lots of detail which helps to bring it to life.Generally I found it enjoyable,the only little niggle is Maggie Mashs' habit of using accents on every quote and it has 1 or 2 boring bits.But still informative and interesting otherwise.
Very good book, but spoiled by the narration. Magpie Mash over-does the "quotes'" by trying to act the character's voice. I found this to be very irritating, and it seemed over-indulgent on her part. Apart from this, she reads very well, but someone needs to have a word with her!
Having said that, I have listened to this book time and time again. This period of history is very interesting but, as I listen in bed, I fall asleep so there is always something I have missed!
I would recommend to anyone interested in medieval history.
I cannot say I really 'enjoyed' this book, .and in fact I didn't actually manage to finish it as it had become something of a chore. I love history I really do, but I felt this book was just a collection of dates, quotes and research rearranged and passed on to the reader/listener. Actually I was almost waiting for the narrator to announce a test at the end of the book.
In fairness I had just finished a Philipa Gregory, and that was very very padded out, but enjoyable, but the description of this book made it sound a lot more interesting than it actually was. I also found that some of the information given in this book differed from the information that I had previously read on the same subject, so now I don't really know what to believe. Never mind I now have an excuse to buy yet another book on this subject.... Ah happy days!
"Medieval Murder and Mayhem"
The time before the Tudors has always confused me - its a turbulent history of different dynasties deposing kings and restorations, of genealogies and bloody battles. The Tower of London the main prison at that time almost had a revolving door on it!
It intrigued me but remained confused - not so after Alison Weir's book. I was riveted and hung on every sentence as the political ambitions were explained as were why and how thing happened in the sequence they did. Weir obviously did extensive research and it showed but not in a negative learned way but in precise and clear explanations.
My only criticisms were the annoying translation of pounds, shillings and pence into modern pounds and "pees" but leaving Marks and Livres totally untranslated to modern amounts and Maggie Mash's accents grated occasionally.
I recommend this book to those who love old English history and a jolly good tale of medieval murder and mayhem.
"great story annoying voices."
really good telling of a fascinating period in English history, the narration is good, however the accents are very off putting.
"Clear, engaging, and fascinating"
Alison Weir has that rare gift of making the convoluted and confusing seem clear and straightforward. She also brings various of the key personalities to life, reminding us that in this violent era,, it was as much people's foibles as glorious leadership, that forged countries.
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