Raised in Yorkshire, I always feel like I should know more about the Wars of the Roses. I’m sure there were attempts to teach me, and I’ve even read Shakespeare’s history plays — and enjoyed them — and yet the information just doesn’t stick. Unfortunately for this book, it was much the same again. I can keep the basics in mind, even some anecdotes (especially if they were also referred to by Will), but the whole tangle of the family trees, the politics, the exact relation of this family to that… It just won’t stay clear in my head.
So I had the unfortunate experience with this book of reading it and taking time over it and nothing going in. And it’s not the author’s fault: the writing is clear, footnoted meticulously, follows a logical order, etc. It seems to be a perfectly fine book if you’re interested in the Wars of the Roses, and I even sort of enjoyed reading it. But alas, a casualty of my utter disinterest in most of the key players.
(An exception is Richard III. I don’t know why, but I’ve been able to assimilate more information about him that others. Which I suppose makes sense, since I grew up in Yorkshire, except that if you’d asked me the names of kings on either side before a few years ago, I’d have been blank.)