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  • Published: 3 October 2019
  • ISBN: 9780718197292
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 688
Categories:

The Brothers York

An English Tragedy




The gripping new history of a dynasty that seized the English throne - then tore itself apart

It is 1461 and England is crippled by civil war. One freezing morning, a teenage boy wins a battle in the Welsh marches, and claims the crown. He is Edward IV, first king of the usurping house of York...

Thomas Penn's brilliant new telling of the wars of the roses takes us inside a conflict that fractured the nation for more than three decades. During this time, the house of York came to dominate England. At its heart were three charismatic brothers - Edward, George and Richard - who became the figureheads of a spectacular ruling dynasty. Together, they looked invincible..

But with Edward's ascendancy the brothers began to turn on one another, unleashing a catastrophic chain of rebellion, vendetta, fratricide, usurpation and regicide. The brutal end came at Bosworth Field in 1485, with the death of the youngest, then Richard III, at the hands of a new usurper, Henry Tudor.

The story of a warring family unable to sustain its influence and power, The Brothers York brings to life a dynasty that could have been as magnificent as the Tudors. Its tragedy was that, in the space of one generation, it destroyed itself.

  • Published: 3 October 2019
  • ISBN: 9780718197292
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 688
Categories:

Praise for The Brothers York

A gripping, complex and sensational story, told with calm narrative command. It's a story we think we know - but most accounts leave the personnel as frozen as portraits in stained glass. Here, the three York brothers spring to ferocious life, and you need strong nerves to meet them. With insight and skill, Penn cuts through the thickets of history to find the heart of these heartless decades.

Hilary Mantel

The Brothers York is not just a magisterial work of sublime scholarship, it's a pure page-turner. I couldn't put it down. The wonderful thing about Thomas Penn is that he makes some of the most familiar stories in English history feel fresh and exciting.

Amanda Foreman

An immense, sinewy political thriller. Thomas Penn has the enviable skill of presenting hard research with a light touch. The Brothers York is savage, exciting, blisteringly good.

Jessie Childs, author of God's Traitors

An epic orgy of colour and character: there are soldiers and townsmen, poets and pirates, battlefield massacres and hidden murders ... One of the great strengths of Brothers York is the attention paid to the European stage.

Leanda de Lisle, The Times

A rip-roaring account ... Pacy, engrossing and evocative in its details (of feasts and jousts as well as battles and diplomatic skulduggery), it engages the reader's emotions as well as intellect.

Chris Given-Wilson, Times Literary Supplement

Superb. The tragedy and brutality of the Wars of the Roses jumps out from every page of Penn's book ... An impressive and engaging read.

Kate Maltby, Financial Times

Thrilling, pacy ... Brings a novelist's verve to his telling of events ... Penn's history of betrayal, backstabbing and paranoia strikes notes that still resonate today.

John Gallagher, The Guardian

Fresh and lively narrative swagger ... Peppered with delightful, telling anecdotes and details. Some are comical and others grisly, but all breathe life into their subject ... Perhaps the greatest strength of Penn's entertaining book is his understanding of the warping effects of European affairs on English domestic stability.

Dan Jones, The Sunday Times

An exceptionally detailed and absorbing narrative history with a gallantly sustained human touch ... Penn's Yorkist England is an excellent place to take an exciting, and instructive, holiday from 2019.

Minoo Dinshaw, The Telegraph

Gripping, richly contextualised and meticulously researched ... a vital corrective to the ongoing, polarising battle over Richard III's legacy.

Marcus Nevitt, The Spectator

Epic, racy, breaks new ground ... Penn combines a keen sense of time, place, circumstance and anecdote with a firm grasp of human psychology, of the macabre, the comic and the tragic, and - perhaps as important as any of these - an instinct for the rhythm of a sentence.

John Guy, London Review of Books

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