Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Wars of the Roses Fiction and Non-Fiction

With all of the interest in the HBO series A Game of Thrones (based on the series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin), and the Tudors and Borgias series on Showtime, other networks are also creating their own shows of political intrigue and royal rowdiness. The cable network, Starz, recently released a series, The White Queen, based on The Cousin's War series by Philippa Gregory, and the show was first aired in August and will be released in ten episodes.

The Cousin's War series covers the turbulent time in Great Britain's history called The Wars of the Roses, beginning with the rule of Richard II in 1377 and lasting until the death of Richard III in 1485 (ending the reign of the Plantagenet line). King Edward III bestowed upon two of his children the dukedoms of Lancaster and York. John of Gaunt became the Duke of Lancaster, and his symbol was the red rose. Edmund of York became the Duke of York, and his symbol was the white rose (which is why the conflict is called The Wars of the Roses) . What followed Edward III's death in 1377 was over a hundred years of backstabbing (some quite literally), assassinations, forced abdications, political maneuverings, revolts, battles, and lots of bickering over which king, and therefore which "rose," would rule England.

Philppa Gregory looks at this time of conflict through the eyes of three women that were important to the period: Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort, and Anne Neville. Elizabeth Woodville became the wife of King Edward IV in 1464, and she was the mother of Edward V and Richard, Duke of York, the two little boys that were murdered in the Tower of London for Richard III's access to the throne. Margaret Beaufort was the mother of Henry VII (the beginning of the Tudor line) and a member of the Lancaster family. Anne Neville was the daughter of "The Kingmaker," Richard Neville, and the wife of Richard III.

The order of Philippa Gregory's series:

The Cousin's War Series (found under FIC GREGORY)
The White Queen
The Red Queen (also in audio)
The Lady of the Rivers (also in large print and audio)
The Kingmaker's Daughter (also in audio)
The White Princess (also in audio)

If you are interested in reading more about The Wars of the Roses, here are some other fiction and non-fiction books that we have on the subject:


The Founding by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

The Stolen Crown: It Was a Secret Marriage...One That Forever Changed the Fate of England by Susan Higgenbotham

The Virgin Widow by Anne O'Brien

Queen By Right by Anne Easter Smith

 The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses by Robert Louis Stevenson  (also in audio)

The King's Daughter by Sandra Worth


942.04 WARS
The Wars of the Roses by Elizabeth M. Hallam

942.04 WEIR
The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir

942.040922 GREGORY
The Women of The Cousin's War: The Duchess, the Queen, and The King's Mother by Philppa Gregory

942.0409252 GRISTWOO
Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses by Sarah Gristwood

No comments: