A Brief History of the Wars of the Roses

  • by Desmond Seward
  • Narrated by Mark Elstob
  • 13 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A classic account of the bloody rivalry between the dynasties of York and Lancaster for the throne of England. During the 15th century England was split in a bloody conflict between the Houses of York and Lancaster over who should claim the crown. The civil wars consumed the whole nation in a series of battles that eventually saw the Tudor dynasty take power.
In A Brief History of the Wars of the Roses, Desmond Seward tells the story of this complex and dangerous period of history through the lives of five men and women who experienced the conflict firsthand. In a gripping narrative the personal trials of the principal characters interweave with the major events and personalities of one of the most significant turning points in British history.
Desmond Seward was born in Paris and educated at St Catherine's College, Cambridge. He is the author of numerous studies and biographies.


What the Critics Say

"A brilliant study of the period. Rich in historical detail, yet passionately written, the smell of battle seems to linger on the page." (Yorkshire Post)
"It is hard to imagine a historian more in command of his subject.... The result is history as compelling as any novel." (Independent)
"This is a splendidly and vividly written book." (Evening Standard)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

good book ruined

great book ruined by narrator's irritating use of irritating voices
buy the paper back instead
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- Mrs. Catherine A. Bellis

Almost unintelligable as an audio book

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

If you sit down with this and a family tree of the British monarchy of the period you might have a chance of grasping it but if like me you like to walk around pruning roses and listening it's just too complicated to grasp. I suspect the hard copy book is quite interesting as it might be easier to flick back and see the family tree and refer to earlier incidents with the same cast of characters. I was inspired to 'read' the book by the White Queen on TV which I also found hard to follow because we watched it spaced over a long period of time.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Hard copy of the family tree and a note pad to write some sort of diagram of what's going on!

How could the performance have been better?

It was a bit flat in the way it was narrated almost suggesting the narrator didn't get it either. I am reminded of a great review of a book that I read which basically said a great narrator can turn a poor book into a good one; this one didn't really give a great contribution.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not for me

Any additional comments?


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- Michele

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-03-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios