Acknowledgements

I have tried in the references to the text to record specific debts to the writings of others. Inevitably, there are many more of which I am scarcely aware and which I cannot attribute. I also owe an unattributable debt to UCL Press's reader, whose very helpful and thorough report has greatly improved my text. For this I am very grateful.

Like many in my generation, I was fortunate as a student to come into contact with K.B. McFarlane, under whose guidance I spent a memorable term reading the Oxford special subject on Richard II. To those who did not know Bruce McFarlane, it is hard to convey the stimulus of his teaching, let alone his courtesy and the continuing friendship which he extended so generously. Nevertheless, I think readers of this book will see the extent of his influence.

My interest in the period also owes a great deal to my former colleague in Glasgow Dr (later Professor) A.L. Brown, who persuaded me to join him for several years in teaching a special subject on the Wars of the Roses. I learned much from that experience, and from the generations of students in Glasgow, and later at Kent, with whom I have studied the period. “Teaching” is not a one-way process: you learn at least as much as you contribute, even if the interaction is so constant that you are scarcely aware that it is happening.

In the writing I have, as always, owed more than I can express to my wife, who has read and discussed what must have seemed like endless successive drafts, to my and my readers' enormous gain.

-vii-

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The Wars of the Roses
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Chapter 1 - The Problem 1
  • Chapter 2 - The Events: What Actually Happened? 16
  • Chapter 3 - The Social and Political Situation in the Fifteenth Century 39
  • Chapter 4 - The Problem of Authority in the Middle Ages 51
  • Chapter 5 - Failings of Government 58
  • Epilogue: the Tudor Solution 72
  • References 77
  • Further Reading 80
  • Index 83
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