The Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses provides its users with clear, concise, and basic descriptions and definitions of people, events, and terms relating in some significant way to the series of civil conflicts that disturbed English politics and society in the second half of the fifteenth century, and that later came to be known as the Wars of the Roses. Because the book focuses exclusively on the Wars of the Roses themselves—what caused them, how they were fought, and what effects they had on English life and government—it is not a general overview of fifteenth-century England but a specialized treatment of one of the most important aspects of English history during that century.
   The Encyclopedia was written primarily for students and other nonspecialists who have an interest—but little background—in this period of British history. Besides providing a highly usable resource for quickly looking up names and terms encountered in reading or during study, the Encyclopedia offers an excellent starting point for classroom or personal research on subjects relating to the course, causes, and consequences of the Wars of the Roses. The entries provide the basic information needed to choose or hone a research topic, to answer small but vital questions of fact, and to identify further and more extensive information resources. The Encyclopedia also serves as a handy guide for those interested in re-creating the military and social aspects of the wars, as well as a useful reader’s companion for those whose reading on the period—whether of fiction or nonfiction—is more for enjoyment than for study.
   Scope of the Book
   In chronological terms, the Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses concerns itself largely with the most active phases of civil conflict in the late fifteenth century, primarily the years 1459–1461, 1469–1471, and 1483–1487, the periods when politics was most disordered, society was most disrupted, and military activity was most intense. Some entries, such as those on the Neville-Percy Feud and the Yorkist pretender Perkin Warbeck, cover the political turmoil that preceded civil war in the 1450s or the dynastic uncertainty that lingered after the fighting in the 1490s. Other entries, such as those describing the deposition of Richard II in 1399 or the Hundred Years War of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, cover broader topics or issues related to the longterm causes of the Wars of the Roses.
   In geographical terms, the Encyclopedia is concerned not only with the course of political and military events in England, but with how the English civil wars both affected and were influenced by people and happenings in neighboring states. Readers will find entries that relate the Wars of the Roses to relevant contemporary events in the other states of the British Isles (Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) and in the most important states on the continent (Brittany, Burgundy, and France). Also included are foreign rulers and leaders whose actions and decisions affected the civil wars, such as France’s Louis XI, Scotland’s Mary of Gueldres, and Burgundy’s Charles the Bold.
   Criteria for Inclusion
   To be included in the Encyclopedia, a topic, event, or person had to have a role in some significant aspect of the Wars of the Roses. Nonbiographical entries relate mainly to military issues (e.g., the raising of armies, the nature of combat, and the use of naval forces), to political terms and events (e.g., the employment of attainder, the Readeption government, and the usurpation of 1483), to the major battles of the Wars of the Roses (e.g., Towton, Barnet, and Bosworth Field), and to the chief historical sources for the civil wars (e.g., Sir Thomas More’s History of King Richard III, Philippe de Commines’s Memoirs, and the continuations of the Croyland Chronicle).
   Because the Wars of the Roses were dynastic struggles concerned with who should exercise the powers of the Crown, the great majority of biographical entries cover the most active participants in the conflicts, that is, noblemen and members of the English royal family. Also included are entries on the contending branches of the royal family, such as the houses of Lancaster, York, and Tudor; on key magnate families, such as the Nevilles and the Woodvilles; on important members of the gentry, such as Sir John Fortescue and William Catesby; on politically active members of the clergy, such as Bishop John Morton and Prior John Langstrother; and on broad social classes, such as the peerage, gentry, and commons.
   Structure of Entries
   The Encyclopedia’s 281 entries, 130 of which are biographical, average about 500 words in length. Each entry opens with a sentence or brief paragraph that carefully places its subject, whether a person, event, or term, within the context of the Wars of the Roses, explaining the subject’s significance for the emergence, course, or impact of the civil wars. Each entry also contains numerous cross-references to related entries (which appear in SMALL CAPITALS) and concludes with one or more recommendations for additional reading. These reading recommendations include both scholarly works and popular treatments. In a few cases, older books have been included if no more recent study has been published or if the older work remains the accepted scholarly standard on the subject, as is the case, for instance, with biographies of some lesser-known figures. Also included in the readings are important essays and papers published in book form in collections of articles. All works appearing at the ends of entries as further reading are listed in the general bibliography, which also contains numerous other worthwhile books not found among the entry recommendations. A reader interested in further reading on a particular person or topic should check both the general bibliography and the further reading listings at the ends of relevant entries.
   All biographical entries provide the person’s title or office. For titles of nobility, only the highest title attained is given; thus, Anthony Woodville is noted as Earl Rivers, the title he acquired on his father’s death, and not as Lord Scales, the title he had held previously. In a few cases, such as Jasper Tudor, who was earl of Pembroke throughout the Wars of the Roses and only became duke of Bedford later, both titles are given. Except in cases where birth dates are unknown, as is often the case with fifteenth-century figures, life dates are also supplied for all biographical entries. When exact birth or death years are uncertain, the c. notation, meaning “circa,” or “at about that time,” precedes the date to indicate that the year given is approximate. When a single year is preceded by d., the year given is the death date, and the birth date is totally unknown. The date ranges supplied for ruling monarchs are birth and death dates, not the years of their reign, which are given in the text of the entry. Finally, the spelling for all titles of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century publications has been modernized.
   Additional Features
   Preceded by a brief, general introduction that describes the historiography of the Wars of the Roses, the entries are augmented by a map of battlefield sites, a detailed chronology, and five genealogical tables depicting the royal houses and important noble families. Appendixes also include a listing of fifteenth-century monarchs in England and neighboring countries, a quick reference table showing the (sometimes shifting) dynastic allegiances of important noblemen, a table showing the consequences of involvement in the wars for the higher peerage, and an annotated listing of useful Wars of the Roses Web sites. Besides an extensive general bibliography, which is divided by broad topics, the Encyclopedia also includes a bibliography of historical fiction with Wars of the Roses characters and settings and a detailed subject index. When used with the cross-references in the entries, the Guide to Related Topics will allow readers to trace broad themes—such as the north of England, local feuds, or foreign affairs—through all their most important events, ideas, and personalities and so will help to provide users with a sound basic understanding of the Wars of the Roses.
   I want to thank the photo archive staffs of the following institutions for the illustrations they helped provide for this volume: the British Library; the British Museum; the Public Record Office, London; the National Portrait Gallery, London; the Birmingham Art Gallery; the University of Ghent; the Brooklyn Museum; and the Bibliothèque Municipale d’Arras. At Arizona State University, I wish to thank the staff of Hayden Library for assisting me in obtaining necessary and sometimes obscure research materials, and the members of my British history classes for helping me hone ideas and definitions with their questions, comments, and interest.
   At ABC-CLIO, I wish to thank Bob Neville for his help in getting this book under way and for keeping it on track; Michelle Trader for carefully shepherding it through the production process; Liz Kincaid for handling the illustrations; and Silvine Marbury Farnell for expert copyediting.
   I also want to thank all the members of my family in Phoenix—Gene, Fran, Michael, Mary, Courtney, Mary, and Kerby—and my family in Wisconsin—Karen, Fred, Paul, Katie, Patrick, Peter, Charles, Debbie, Scott, Tammy, Haley, and my dad, Joe—for supporting me in the long and sometimes tedious process of putting together a good reference book. And, for keeping me quiet company through long hours at the computer, I thank my little button-nosed friend, Midnight. Finally, I must express my gratitude and love to my wife, Donna, without whose unfailing support nothing of any value is ever possible.

Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses. . 2001.


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