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 content is interesting but the narrator is annoying when she does the silly voices all the time. It really breaks the pace
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.
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!
This book offers the best type of history: one that tells a gripping story while shedding ample light on both power politics and human nature. The author starts by apologising for taking a personality-centric stance, but there’s no need to worry. You do form a presumably accurate picture of the doltish Henry VI, the rakish Edward IV, the frustrated turncoat Warwick, and the monster that was Margaret of Anjou; but the characters are part and parcel of a narrative that, after some stage-setting, keeps driving forward. The only negative is hardly Weir’s fault: the Lancastrian and Yorkist treachery and savagery were so unremitting that you may end up begging for peace to break out.
My only disappointment was that, this book having been written as a prequel to Weir’s earlier ‘The Princes in the Tower’, the story stops short of Richard III and Bosworth Field. Hence it feels like a Shakespeare tragedy minus the final act – so you really have to buy the other book too. She writes so fluently and clearly, however, that I was happy to forgive her. You just wish someone had told her that ‘prevaricate’ does not mean ‘procrastinate’ - a much repeated mistake.
Maggie Mash reads intelligently, and even knows (refreshingly) how to pronounce foreign names, albeit not the word ‘propaganda’. It was certainly brave (or foolhardy) to read all quotes in a modern version of the original accent. She only really goes wrong when apeing men, who all sound as though they have a sore throat; and one medieval bigwig comes across like a well-oiled Victorian judge.
Overall, another example of a book I’d never have bought in hardback, but that Audible turns into an excellent listening experience.
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 !).
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.
This is an absorbing and well researched history of the 'Wars of the Roses' - well worth listening to. For the most part it is very well read. However I have two gripes.
1. Why does the narrator insist on reading all lines attributed to French, Italian or German observers in silly accents that are reminiscent of those used in TV productions such as 'allo allo'. This is not necessary and is infuriating.
2. The text is riddled with 'translations' of £ s d currency amounts into their decimal equivalents. It adds nothing to tell us, for instance, that the £66, 13 shillings and 4 pence, spent on a particular item/activity, is equivalent to £66.67!. It would have been far more useful, if the author had given us some estimate of the value, in current day terms, of the purchase in question. Despite these annoyances, an enjoyable book.
Set in a period of conflict, the wars of the roses is a detailed account of the rival claimants to the throne of England. Descendants of Edward iii all claimed to be the rightful ruler but in the end only one victor remained, the tudors. Truly gripping to read.
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.
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