Blood and Roses: One Family's Struggle and Triumph During the Tumultuous Wars of the Roses

Blood and Roses: One Family's Struggle and Triumph During the Tumultuous Wars of the Roses

Helen Castor

Language: English

Pages: 448

ISBN: 0007162227

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Wars of the Roses tore England asunder. Over the course of thirty years, four kings lost their thrones, countless men lost their lives on the battlefield or their heads on the block, and others found themselves suddenly flush with gold. Yet until now, little has been written about the ordinary people who lived through this extraordinary time.

Blood and Roses is a gripping, intimate story of one determined family conducting everyday business against the backdrop of a disintegrating society and savage civil war. Drawing on a rare trove of letters discovered in a tumbledown stately home, historian Helen Castor reconstructs the turbulent affairs of the Pastons through three generations of births, marriages, and deaths as they single-mindedly worked their way up from farmers to landed gentry. It is a remarkable chronicle of devotion, ambition, and survival that brings a remote and hazy era to vibrant new life.

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Relationship, were enough to make the union irrevocable. That had meant that Margaret and her sons were powerless to prevent the marriage, but it also left them a loophole. If Margery could be brought to deny that such promises had been made, escape would be possible. By the end of the first week in September – with John III defending Caister against the Duke of Norfolk’s forces, and John II urgently searching for help in London – Margaret and Agnes were grappling with the problem of Margery’s.

Late medieval spelling lend a disconcertingly alien appearance to the Pastons’ writing in unedited form, but the grammar and vocabulary of the period present few difficulties: if, for example, ‘I haue do yowre herrendys to myn moder & myn hunckyl’ requires a second glance from modern readers, ‘I have done your errands to my mother and my uncle’ does not.12 However, the content of the letters is not always so easy to interpret. In some instances, references which were abundantly clear to both.

Previous December, if it had ever existed, had not survived the renewal of trouble at Bradeston. Scales ‘is well disposed to you and in the best wise’, Osbern wrote, ‘and will do for you that he can, so that you would forsake Daniel’ – a stipulation with which John was presumably now only too happy to comply.19 Four days later, the rot seemed to have spread even further. Margaret told John on 18 May that Daniel’s methods had rubbed off on another of the Duke of Norfolk’s men, their old.

Apparel’ which many people were now affecting, ‘contrary to their estate and degree’.3 For those who were determined to improve their lot, there were few better places to be than Norfolk at the turn of the fifteenth century. It was one of the most prosperous counties in England, with rich soils to grow grain, and pastureland for the thousands of sheep on which the flourishing local wool and cloth industries depended. The flat East Anglian landscape offered easy transport by river and road, and.

Also that he will not hurt you in your bargain if you could be friendlily disposed toward him as you have been; for without a friendlihood of your part he seems he should not greatly help you in your bargain, so I feel him. He lives somewhat aloof, and not utterly malicious against you.’14 Playter’s advice, however, was too little, too late. By the time he recommended this course of action to John, he had already accompanied William Paston on a visit to John Stokes, the judge in the.

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