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The Brothers York

An English Tragedy

Thomas Penn



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16 June 2020
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.
By:   Thomas Penn
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 30mm
Weight:   493g
ISBN:   9780718197285
ISBN 10:   0718197283
Pages:   688
Publication Date:   16 June 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Thomas Penn's bestselling Winter King was a Book of the Year in the Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Sunday Times and BBC History, and was awarded the H. W. Fisher Best First Biography Prize. He has a PhD in late fifteenth and early sixteenth century history from Clare College, Cambridge, and writes for, among others, the Guardian and the London Review of Books.

Reviews for The Brothers York: An English Tragedy

Gripping... brilliant... The enigmatic Henry is brought thrillingly to life as one of the most unlikely but tenacious kings ever to wear the English crown. [on Winter King] -- Dan Jones * Daily Telegraph * Thrilling and sinister [on Winter King] -- Simon Sebag Montefiore Enthralling... Penn captures the weirdness, the ferocity and a glint of unexpected tenderness [on Winter King] -- Hilary Mantel Imagine Wolf Hall rewritten by John le Carre... gripping... a rare achievement [on Winter King] -- Tom Holland 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 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 * 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 * 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 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

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