The War of the Roses: the Historical Facts of the Tudor Myth (Shakespeare’s Histories)

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FEDERAL AGENCY OF EDUCATION NOVOROSSIYSK BRANCH OF STATE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION OF HIGHER PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION “PYATIGORSK STATE LINGUISTIC UNIVERSITY” The English Faculty The Department of the English Language Тheory and Teaching Methods of Foreign Languages and Culture The War of the Roses: the Historical Facts of the Tudor Myth (Shakespeare’s Histories) The Course Paper in the History and Culture of Great Britain Moshikova Ekaterina Yurievna Tutor: Pereyashkin V.V. Novorossiysk 2006 Contents Introduction 1. The Historical Facts of the Tudor Myth 2. Shakespeare’s Histories Conclusion References Appendix 1 Appendix 2 Introduction The antagonism between the two houses started with the overthrowing of King Richard II by his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of

Lancaster, in 1399. Being the issue of Edward III's third son John of Gaunt, Bolingbroke had a poor claim to the throne. According to precedent, the crown should have passed to the male descendants of Lionel of Antwerp, duke of Clarence (1338-1368), Edward III's second son, and in fact, Richard II had named Lionel's grandson, Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March as heir presumptive. However, Bolingbroke was crowned as Henry IV. He was tolerated as king since Richard II's government had been highly unpopular. Bolingbroke died in 1413. His son and successor, Henry V, was a great soldier, and his military success against France in the Hundred Years' War bolstered his enormous popularity, enabling him to strengthen the Lancastrian hold on the throne. Henry V's short reign saw one

conspiracy against him, led by Richard, Earl of Cambridge, a son of Edmund of Langley, the fifth son of Edward III. Cambridge was executed in 1415 for treason at the start of the campaign leading up to the Battle of Agincourt. Cambridge's wife Anne Mortimer also had a claim to the throne, being the daughter of Roger Mortimer and thus a descendant of Lionel of Antwerp. Henry V died in 1422, and Richard, Duke of York, the son of Richard, Earl of Cambridge and Anne Mortimer, would grow up to challenge his successor, the feeble King Henry VI, for the crown. The choice of this theme for our course paper was mostly conditioned by the idea of learning history of Great Britain. The object matter of the paper is the compositions of W. Shakespeare meanwhile the subject of our investigation

is the war of the roses which produced a great effect on the further history of the United Kingdom in general. The object and purposes of the course paper may be formulated as follows: Analytical study of the material on the theme; Exposure of the dates and importance of some events for the Lancastrians and the Yorkists; Searching the peculiarities in the background of different things and events; Searching for the conditions which influenced this event; Defining of the consequences of the event. To achieve the set aims we looked through a list of study books, various references, pieces of press and different sites in Internet. Our paper consist of the Introduction, 2 Chapters, Conclusion and the list of references. 1. The Historical Facts of the Tudor Myth The Wars of the Roses

were a series of civil wars fought in medieval England from 1455 to 1487 between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. The name Wars of the Roses is based on the badges used by the two sides, the red rose for the Lancastrians and the white rose for the Yorkists. Major causes of the conflict include: 1) both houses were direct descendents of king Edward III; 2) the ruling Lancastrian king, Henry VI, surrounded himself with unpopular nobles; 3) the civil unrest of much of the population; 4) the availability of many powerful lords with their own private armies; and 5) the untimely episodes of mental illness by king Henry VI. Please see the origins page for more information on the start of the wars. Henry VI was troubled all his life by recurring bouts of madness, during