The Wars of the Roses

  • England, 2013 (Thistle);
  • USA 2007 (Running Press);
  • England, 1995, Constable: 1997, Constable paperback: 2002, Robinson paperback: 2007, Robinson paperback (as A Brief History of the Wars of the Roses)
  • USA, 1995, Viking: 1996, Penguin USA paperback: 2007 (as A Brief History of the Wars of the Roses)


During the fifteenth century, England saw a long, bloody conflict between the Houses of York and Lancaster as to who should wear the crown. Out of this bitter war between the white rose and the red, the Tudor dynasty eventually came to power. Desmond Seward maps the trials of five men and women who experienced the upheaval at first hand, inter-woven with the key events of a great turning point in English history.

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Reviews of: The Wars of the Roses

  • A brilliant study of the period. Rich in historical detail, yet passionately written, the smell of battle seems to linger on the page.

    Yorkshire Post
  • It is hard to imagine a historian more in command of his subject, or better able to bring it howling and thundering to life.

  • A vivid and bizarre picture of English medieval society … admirably researched … ultimately, though, it is the author’s own enthusiasm for his subject which makes it so consistently entertaining.

    Catholic Herald
  • Three decades of blood and horror – just the sort of history I like … in Desmond Seward’s superb The Wars of the Roses.

    James Delingpole, The Spectator