Forgotten Women of the Wars of the Roses (Hardback)
The Untold History Behind the Battle for the Crown
The Wars of the Roses were fought in England from the mid-fifteenth century, as the supporters of Lancaster and York wrestled over control of the crown. Books have analyzed the politics, battles and motives of its key characters. However, a discussion of women’s roles relating to the conflict is so far missing. Forgotten Women of the Wars of the Roses highlights their involvement, their lives during wartime and the consequences of their actions.
Many women lost male relatives to battle, execution and rebellion, suffering emotional and legal consequences as rivals seized lands and livelihood. Despite the uneasy political atmosphere and challenges in marriage and parenting, women maintained the household and supported the family commercially and politically. Forgotten royal women acted as diplomats, negotiators and supporters to both York and Lancaster. Religious women were involved in the conflict and their individual experiences are examined. There is a discussion of women who fought to overcome potentially dangerous circumstances to secure safety and statusand those who directly supported of the war effort. There were organisers writing lists, planning defences and strategy and quietly supplying husbands with horses, silver and men. Defenders commanded soldiers during a siege, usually at their homes, and took active roles in family feuds. The existence of women rebels at this time is also discussed, as is women’s wider, more subtle contributions and experiences to the security of the monarchy.
The book demands acknowledgement of women’s varied roles during the conflict at all levels of society. It draws on primary sources, aspects of their families, their daily lives, homes and fashions, thus presenting them as three dimensional people against the backdrop of the wars.