Description - From Wakefield to Towton by Philip A. Haigh
The Wars of the Roses was a complicated, bloody affair between the houses of Lancaster and York, and witnessed much changing of sides. That disjointed feuding persisted for a staggering thirty years and was a north versus south affair. However, the period and conflicts covered by this Battleground title - Wakefield & Towton - is refreshingly clear. The events, bracketed by Christmas 1460 (Wakefield) and Palm Sunday (Towton), have all the ingredients of a block-busting film: a manipulative woman married to a weak King - Henry VI - representing the House of Lancaster pitted against a seemingly decent man, the Duke of York; battles, betrayals, pitiless murder, beheading, ridicule and disgrace, revenge and the crowning of a Yorkist king - Edward IV. All this tucked away in the County of Yorkshire and, although the dramatic events of those days are covered in scholarly works, they have never been presented for popular consumption - until now. In the days leading up to Christmas, 1460, the Duke of York arrived from London at his castle at Sandal with 5,00 men at arms.
A few miles away, at Pontefract Castle, was a larger force of Lancastrians under the command of Lord Clifford - some 18,000 men. The Yorkists were out foraging for food in the woods and town of Wakefield itself when the Lancastrians attacked them. The outcome was inevitable, the Duke of York fought to the end and died in battle. He was decapitated and parts of his body were transported to York where they were impaled on Micklegate Bar. On hearing of the death of his father, Edward, Earl of March gathered together a force and headed north to seek revenge. On 29 March he caught up with the Lancastrians and the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil took place at Towton during a snow storm. After six hours the Lancastrian line collapsed and a fearsome rout followed in which thousands were slain. Lots of places to visit to see where the battles were fought: Wakefield. Sandal, York, Towton, Pontefract and Fotheringhay. An intriguing tale of treachery and deceit that took place right here on our own doorstep.
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(216mm x 135mm x mm)
Pen & Sword Books Ltd
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
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Book Reviews - From Wakefield to Towton by Philip A. Haigh
Author Biography - Philip A. Haigh
Philip Haigh is joint-editor of the nationally distributed journal Battlefields and Chairman of the Yorkshire Battlefields Society. He has made a lifelong study of the military aspects of the Wars of the Roses and his first book on the subject. His Military Campaigns of the War of the Roses was published in 1995. He is married with two children and works in West Yorkshire.