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Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou (Hardback)

A Marriage of Unequals

P&S History > British History P&S History > Social History

By Amy Licence
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 216
ISBN: 9781526709752
Published: 6th September 2018



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He became king before his first birthday, inheriting a vast empire from his military hero father; she was the daughter of a king without power, who made an unexpected marriage at the age of fifteen. Almost completely opposite in character, together they formed an unlikely but complimentary partnership.

Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou have become famous as the Lancastrian king and queen who were deposed during the Wars of the Roses but there is so much more to their story. The political narrative of their years together is a tale of twists and turns, encompassing incredible highs, when they came close to fulfilling their desires, and terrible, heart-breaking lows. Personally, their story is an intriguing one that raises may questions. Henry was a complex, misunderstood man, enlightened and unsuited to his times and the pressures of kingship. In the end, overcome by fortune and the sheer determination of their enemies, their alliance collapsed. England simply wasn’t ready for a gentle king like Henry, or woman like Margaret who defied contemporary stereotypes of gender and queenship.

History has been a harsh judge to this royal couple. In this discerning dual biography, Amy Licence leads the way in a long-overdue re-evaluation of their characters and contributions during a tumultuous and defining period of British history.

I thoroughly enjoyed Licence’s book on Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou. It is clear that she has spent a great deal of time delving into primary sources to gain a deeper understanding of who Henry and Margaret were as people, not just as a King and Queen, and in doing so has brought their lives to the forefront once more. I would highly recommend adding this book to your bookshelf!

Read the full review here

Sarah Bryson, Author

Licence presents a fresh new look at this power couple. Henry and Margaret’s story is one of love and heartache, full of both joy and struggles. Henry might have been a weaker medieval king than his father and Margaret might have been a bit stronger than most medieval women, but that is what makes them so unique. This book packed a lot of wonderful information in it about not only their relationship, but the Wars of the Roses, and the cult of Henry VI which formed after his death. It was an absolute pleasure to read. I did not want to put this book down. I highly recommend that you have “Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou: A Marriage of Unequals” by Amy Licence in your personal library if you are interested in Henry VI, Margaret of Anjou and the Wars of the Roses.

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Adventures of a Tudor Nerd

As featured on The Marina Era Instagram page

The Marina Era, Instagram

Amy Licence depicted two individuals at the centre of unprecedented political turmoil. She gave them voice, returned they dignity and told their story without taking sides.
The book is to be highly recommended to everyone interested in Wars of the Roses.

Read the full review here


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Lots of information!

It really goes into detail about them - if you love English history, this is a must read.

Amazon Customer

⭐⭐⭐⭐ A fascinating look at the lives of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou

A fascinating look at the lives of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou with the focus on their marriage, as they faced the challenges of ruling 15th century England. Henry has been viewed as unsuitable for kingship but Licence shows how he did his best with the tools available to him but that ultimately circumstances and his health went against him. Margaret might have made mistakes as she tried to hold the throne of England for Lancaster but as Licence asks, what else was she supposed to do other than fight for her husband’s throne and her son’s inheritance?

This very readable book gives a balanced account of the Wars of the Roses and the choices made by the participants in this drawn out conflict that led to the downfall of the players in this unequal marriage.

Amazon Customer

Amy Licence’s unique and individual writing style is both easy and entertaining. It flows so well that it feels more like you’re reading a novel than a factual historical text. However, the impeccable research and intuitive analysis means that this book is accessible to both the casual reader, amateur historian and expert, alike. Ms Licence does not go easy on her subjects and is not afraid to say when they got things wrong. However, she is also fair and points out when history has been harsh and unforgiven, both on the couple – both together and as individuals – their friends and their enemies.

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History The Interesting Bits, Sharon Bennett Connolly

Basis of article 'The well-meaning ruler whose world fell to pieces' as featured by

Catholic Herald, 7th December 2018 – words by James Baresel

This very readable book gives a balanced account of the Wars of the Roses and the choices made by the participants in this drawn out conflict that led to the downfall of the players in this unequal marriage.

Read the full review here

Lady Jane Grey Reference Guide, Tamise Hills

About Amy Licence

AMY LICENCE is a best-selling author and historian of the medieval and early modern period, specializing in the lives of women, from queens to commoners.
Amy has written for The GuardianThe Times Literary SupplementThe New StatesmanBBC HistoryThe English ReviewThe Huffington PostThe London Magazine and other places. She has been interviewed regularly for BBC radio, including Woman's Hour, and appeared in Philippa Gregory's BBC2 documentary The Real White Queen and Her Rivals in 2013 and Yesterday Channel's Private Lives of the Tudors in 2016. Amy is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
Her website can be found at amylicence.weebly.com.

Born on this day - Margaret of Anjou

23rd March 1430

Queen Consort to King Henry VI of England

Marriage of Margaret of Anjou and King Henry VI of England

23rd April 1445

Margaret of Anjou weds King Henry VI of England in Titchfield, Hampshire

View all events View all anniversaries

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