Margaret of Anjou

24 May, 2018 940 History of Europe

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss one of the most remarkable queens of the Middle Ages who took control when her husband, Henry VI, was incapable. Margaret of Anjou (1430-1482) wanted Henry to stay in power for the sake of their son, the heir to the throne, and her refusal to back down was seen by her enemies as a cause of the great dynastic struggle of the Wars of the Roses. The image above is from the Talbot Shrewsbury Book, showing John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, presenting Margaret with that book on her betrothal to Henry

Listen on BBC Sounds website


  • Katherine Lewis 5 episodes
    Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Huddersfield
  • James Ross No other episodes
    Reader in Late Medieval History at the University of Winchester
  • Joanna Laynesmith No other episodes
    Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Reading

Reading list

  • Crown, Government and People in the Fifteenth Century
    Rowena E. Archer (ed.) (Alan Sutton, 1995) Google Books →
  • She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth
    Helen Castor (Faber and Faber, 2010) Google Books →
  • Henry VI, Margaret of Anjou and the Wars of the Roses: A Source Book
    Keith Dockray (Sutton Publishing, 2000) Google Books →
  • Queenship in Medieval Europe
    Theresa Earenfight (Palgrave, 2013) Google Books →
  • The Reign of King Henry VI
    Ralph A. Griffiths (Fonthill Media, 2016) Google Books →
  • Patronage, the Crown and the Provinces in Later Medieval England
    Ralph A. Griffiths (ed.) (Sutton, 1981) Google Books →
  • A Short History of the Wars of the Roses
    David Grummitt (I.B. Tauris, 2012) Google Books →
  • The Last Medieval Queens
    J. L. Laynesmith (Oxford University Press, 2005) Google Books →
  • Kingship and Masculinity in Late Medieval England
    Katherine J. Lewis (Routledge, 2013) Google Books →
  • Margaret of Anjou: Queenship and Power in Late Medieval England
    Helen E. Maurer (Boydell Press, 2005) Google Books →
  • By the Queen: The Letters of Margaret of Anjou
    Helen Maurer and B. M. Cron (Boydell & Brewer, forthcoming) Google Books →
  • Crown, Household and Parliament in Fifteenth Century England
    A. R. Myers (Continnuum, 1985) Google Books →
  • Henry VI: A Good, Simple and Innocent Man
    James Ross (Penguin, 2017) Google Books →

Related episodes

Programme ID: b0b39v6r

Episode page:

Auto-category: 940.2 (Middle Ages)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, in 1453 the Queen of England was in serious difficulties.