Noblewomen in the Wars of the Roses: Turning Fortune’s Wheel

An excellent discussion of the part that women played in the Wars.

Lauren Johnson

Much has been written about the violence of the Wars of the Roses. Civil conflicts inevitably leave a deeper scar than international ones, and this fifteenth century combat has lived on in collective memory. However, until recently, one group whose fortunes were  closely affected by the Wars has been overlooked: the noblewomen involved. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of medieval history will know why this is. Chroniclers write about the public deeds of noblemen, surviving records document the actions and decisions of that group because they were the ones who attended Parliament and fought in battles. Finding information about women – even the richest, most influential women – is hard work. And it is only with the increasing interest in social and gender history in the late twentieth century that the difficult sleuthing necessary to unravel the lives of women was undertaken in earnest.

However, for every man directly…

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