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  • Writer's pictureClay Anderson

Review of The Wars of the Roses by Dan Jones

Dan Jones' The Wars of the Roses is a historical narrative that describes the events leading up to the Wars of the Roses, the battles themselves, and the aftermath. The book is a follow-up to The Plantagenets and is a corrective to Tudor propaganda. Jones' writing style is engaging and accessible, making it a page-turner despite its scholarly nature. This book review will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the book, its contribution to the field of history, and its relevance to modern readers.


The Wars of the Roses is a historical narrative that describes the events leading up to the Wars of the Roses, the battles themselves, and the aftermath. Jones' writing style is engaging and accessible, making it a page-turner despite its scholarly nature. The book is a corrective to Tudor propaganda, which has dominated the popular imagination of the period. Jones argues that the Wars of the Roses were not a simple struggle between two rival houses, but a complex series of conflicts that involved many different factions with different interests.


Jones' narrative is organized chronologically, beginning with the reign of Henry VI and ending with the accession of Henry VII. He describes the key events of each reign, including the loss of English territories in France, the rise of the Yorkist faction, the deposition of Henry VI, the reign of Edward IV, the return of Henry VI, the reign of Richard III, and the Battle of Bosworth. Jones also provides vivid descriptions of the battles of Towton and Bosworth, where the last Plantagenet king was slain.


One of the strengths of The Wars of the Roses is its accessibility. Jones' writing style is engaging and makes the book a page-turner despite its scholarly nature. He also provides vivid descriptions of the battles, which help the reader to understand the tactics and strategies used by the combatants. Another strength of the book is its corrective to Tudor propaganda. Jones argues that the Tudors portrayed the Wars of the Roses as a simple struggle between two rival houses, but in reality, it was a complex series of conflicts that involved many different factions with different interests.


One of the weaknesses of The Wars of the Roses is its lack of depth. Jones covers a lot of ground in the book, but he does not go into great detail about the causes of the conflict or the motivations of the key players. Another weakness is that the book is not well-referenced. Jones does not provide footnotes or endnotes, which makes it difficult for the reader to verify historically.


The Wars of the Roses is a valuable contribution to the field of history. Jones' corrective to Tudor propaganda is an important one, and his narrative provides a more nuanced understanding of the period. The book is also a good introduction to the period for readers who are not familiar with it. Jones' writing style is engaging and accessible, which makes the book a good choice for general readers.


The Wars of the Roses is relevant to modern readers because it provides a historical context for the political and social conflicts that continue to shape our world. The book shows how complex political conflicts can be, and how they can lead to violence and instability. It also shows how propaganda can be used to shape public opinion and justify political actions. Finally, the book is a reminder that history is not a simple narrative of good versus evil, but a complex web of competing interests and motivations.


Dan Jones' The Wars of the Roses is a valuable contribution to the field of history. The book is a corrective to Tudor propaganda and provides a more nuanced understanding of the period. Jones' writing style is engaging and accessible, which makes the book a good choice for general readers. While the book has some weaknesses, it is an important work that provides historical context for the political and social conflicts that continue to shape our world.

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