Henry VI (1422-1461), a man ‘more given to God and devout prayer than handling worldly and temporal things’, was the third and least successful Lancastrian king of England. His wife, Margaret of Anjou – ‘a great and strong laboured woman’ – became a formidable political force in her own right and the Wars of the Roses, so dramatically portrayed by William Shakespeare as bloody dynastic powerhouses fought for the possession of the crown, brought the usurpation of Edward IV (1461-1483), the humiliation and exile of Margaret of Anjou, and the murder of her husband in the Tower of London.
Combining a framework of interpretation and a rich selection of passages from contemporary and near-contemporary sources, this compilation enables readers to appreciate just why the rule of Henry VI resulted in the outbreak of the Wars of the Roses, what these internecine conflicts were like and how they culminated in the end of the House of Lancaster.
Author Keith Dockray was formerly the senior lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern History at the University of Huddersfield. This volume, following in the footsteps of Edward IV: From Contemporary Chronicles, Letters and Records (2015) and Richard III: From Contemporary Chronicles, Letters and Records (2013), completes a trilogy covering English kings, politics and war circa 1450 to 1485.
Keith Dockray, formerly senior lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern History at the University of Huddersfield, has taught more recently for Bristol University, the Open University, the University of Wales (Newport) and the University of the West of England. He is the author of books on Henry VI, Margaret of Anjou and the Wars of the Roses, Edward IV and Richard III.