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An Alternative History of Britain: The Wars of the Roses (Hardback)

British History Medieval History English Civil War Military

By Timothy Venning
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: An Alternative History of Britain
Pages: 214
ISBN: 9781781591277
Published: 24th May 2013

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Timothy Venning's exploration of the alternative paths that British history might easily have taken moves on to the Wars of the Roses. What if Richard of York had not given battle in vain? How would a victory for Warwick the Kingmaker at the Battle of Barnet have changed the course of the struggle for power? What if the Princes had escaped from the tower or the Stanleys had not betrayed their king at Bosworth? These are just a few of the fascinating questions posed by this book.

As always, while necessarily speculative, Dr Venning discusses all the scenarios within the benefit of a deep understanding of the major driving forces, tensions and trends that shaped British history. In so doing, he helps the reader to understand why things panned out as they did, as well as what might have been in this tumultuous period.

Venning’s book provides some possible outcomes to all the above questions and many, many more. He does a wonderful job of detailing the events that happened during the 15th century in England and then providing multiple possibilities of different outcomes. He discusses the possible reasons why decisions and choices were made by the key players in the Wars of the Roses.

I thoroughly enjoyed Venning’s book, it was an interesting and thoughtful look at the possibilities of what could have happened during this tumultuous time in England’s history.

Read the full review here

Sarah Bryson - Author

Venning provides, particularly for those unfamiliar with the period, a well-researched overview of both the politics and the battles.

Miniature Wargames

In considering an alternative history, the author has explained how and why things turned out as they did. His arguments are involving and logical and they will greatly help readers in understanding the how and why of the actual history. What he cannot do, and neither can anyone else, is paint an accurate picture of an alternative England where Richard III had won the war and continued in a long reign. There simply are not enough reliable documents. Those enthusiasts who favour York will remain convinced that Richard was not the monster of
Tudor propaganda and that he would have been a beneficial King, bringing success and prosperity to his people. Those who favour the Tudor pretender will firmly believe that Henry VII was a great king who liberated his people from a lengthy civil war and disposed of a blood-soaked tyrant. The truth may lay somewhere between and the following peace might have been very similar who ever had won the final battle. A fascinating review of the Wars of the Roses that is informative, enjoyable and entertaining.

Firetrench Reviews
 Timothy Venning

About Timothy Venning

Timothy Venning obtained his BA and PhD from King's College, University of London, specialising in Cromwell's foreign policy and is a gifted historian, deep and critical researcher and attractive writer with a wide range of historical interests. He can slip easily from and effectively into early history, the middle ages, the early modern period including Britain and Europe. He combines academic rigour with accessibility for general readers and specialists. Publications include: Dictionary of National Biography (OUP - contributions); Cromwellian Foreign Policy (Palgrave); A Compendium of British Office-Holders (Palgarve); A Chronology of Byzantine Empire (Palgrave); A Chronology of the Roman Empire (Continuum); A Chronology of the Crusades (Routledge); A Chronology of Early Medieval Britain and Europe Ad 450-1066 (Routledge; Anglo-Saxon Kings and Queens; The Kings and Queens of Wales; The Kings and Queens of Scotland; Lords of the Isles: Rulers of the Highlands, Hebrides, and Man; King-Makers: Lords of the Welsh Marches (Amberley); If Rome Had Survived; An Alternative History of Britain; The Anglo-Saxon Age; The Hundred Years War; Norman and Plantagenets; The Tudors; The English Civil War (all Pen and Sword); plus 8 titles forthcoming including academic titles: Cromwell's Failed State and the Monarchy; The Fall of the British Republic and the Return of the King: From Cromwell's Commonwealth to Stuart Monarchy, 1657-1670: plus more Royal Mysteries as above and the pipeline. (All Pen and Sword).

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