Edward IV was the most effective general of the Wars of the Roses. His prowess in warfare enabled him to become king of England, and later to recover his position in spite of remarkable odds. He did experience major setbacks at several points in his life, but he eventually died in his bed, still undefeated in battle. This post will provide a brief overview of Edward’s military career, before moving on to explain the reasons for his success. I will also consider, however, why he failed to achieve more. Continue reading Edward IV: Warrior King
Ronald Welch (1909-82) was a prolific author of historical fiction for children and young adults. I discovered his work as a thirteen-year-old, when I picked up one of his novels in the school library. As I was already a budding writer and historian, I quickly went on to read several more. However, much as I enjoyed his other books, my first encounter with Welch, Sun of York, remained a steadfast favourite. It was out of print for many years, and for a long time I despaired of ever finding an affordable copy, so I was delighted when it was finally reissued in a beautiful edition from Slightly Foxed.
Michael Jones’s most recent book retells the story of Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales, who is better known today as the Black Prince. Raised to be a warrior in the mould of his father, King Edward III, the Prince ‘won his spurs’ in battle at the tender age of sixteen. At Crécy he commanded a hard-pressed division of the English army, and thereafter his life was dominated by conflict with France. By the age of twenty-six, when he won a spectacular victory at the Battle of Poitiers, he had established himself as one of the greatest soldiers of his time. The Prince also caused a stir when he appears to have married for love, choosing as his bride the beautiful Joan of Kent. (Evidently he was willing to overlook Joan’s controversial past.) Continue reading Book Review: The Black Prince