Saturday, January 9, 2010
The War of the Roses Was a Historical Event
Did you know that the War of the Roses was an actual historical event? It occurred in England around Edward IV's time. The house of Lancaster (red rose) and the house of York (white rose) caused a massive civil war in England by pitting two sons against each other for the throne and creating a real-life Romeo and Juliet. Those people who favored Edward and the Yorks wore a white rose on their collars and those who favored the Lancasters wrote a red rose. Elizabeth Woodville, of the House of Lancaster, married reigning King Edward IV of the House of York in secret. They married for love, but they hoped to bring peace between the warring families at the same time. Instead, they could not bring the families to agree on a rightful king, and Edward is driven into excile. Elizabeth hides in the Tower of London.
During this time, one of England's greatest mysteries occurred as well. Elizabeth and Edward had two sons, one of them destined to be the next king. They are cared for by their uncle, at Elizabeth and Edward's dismay, and end up "missing". To this day historians know that the boys went with their uncle into the Tower of London, but they do not know what happened next. Neither of the boys were able to take the crown.
On a trip to England this year, we visited York, and wouldn't you know...their bridges and buildings still had white roses etched and painted in their sides. It seems the story lives even to this day...
Kat, you said that you were interested in historical fiction, and do I have a book for you! My recommendation is The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. It's the story of the War of the Roses and Elizabeth Woodville.