Fatal Colours – George Goodwin
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Fatal Colours – George Goodwin

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The Battle of Towton 1461 was unique in its ferocity and brutality, as the armies of two kings of England engaged with murderous weaponry and in appalling conditions to conclude the first War of the Roses. Variously described as the largest, longest and bloodiest battle on English soil, Towton was fought with little chance of escape and none of surrender. Yet, as if too ghastly to contemplate, the battle itself and the turbulent reign of Henry VI were neglected for centuries. Combining medieval sources and modern scholarship, George Goodwin expertly creates the backdrop of 15th-century England. From the death of Henry V, with his baby son’s inheritance first of England, then of France, he chronicles the vicissitudes of the 100 Years War abroad and the vicious in-fighting at home. He brilliantly describes a decade of breakdown of both king and kingdom, as increasingly embittered factions struggle for supremacy that could only be secured after the carnage of Towton