The Wars of the Roses

18 May, 2000 940 History of Europe

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Wars of the Roses which have been the scene for many a historical skirmish over the ages: The period in the fifteenth century when the House of Lancaster and the House of York were continually at odds is described by Shakespeare, in the three parts of Henry VI and Richard III as a time of enormous moral, military and political turmoil - the quintessential civil war; but twentieth century historians like K.B. Macfarlane argued the political instability is wildly overstated and there were no Wars of the Roses at all. Opposing this position are the many Tudor historians who like to claim that the Wars of the Roses represent the final breakdown of the feudal system and lead directly to the Tudor Era and the birth of the modern age.

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  • Dr Helen Castor No other episodes
    Fellow and Director of Studies in History, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
  • Professor Colin Richmond No other episodes
    Emeritus Professor of History, Keele University
  • Dr Steven Gunn 3 episodes
    Tudor historian and Fellow and Tutor in Modern History, Merton College, Oxford

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Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. The Wars of the Roses have been the scene for many a historical skirmish over the ages.