J.R. Lander is Professor Emeritus at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and one of the foremost authorities on fifteenth-century English political history. Among his other publications are Conflict and Stability in Fifteenth Century England, The Limitation of English Monarchy in the Later Middle Ages, Crown and Nobility 1450-1509, Power and Politics 1450-1509 and Government and Community in England 1450-1509.
Lander's book was originally published in 1965 ( LJ 5/1/66). New pictures have been interspersed throughout the text and the preface has been updated. The Wars of the Roses (c.1450-c.1500) continue to fascinate readers even though professional historians would prefer to abandon the misleading concept. And, in spite of much new scholarship published in the last 25 years, the subject still remains poorly understood. Lander is possibly the foremost expert on late-15th-century England, and his is a narrative history consisting of extracts from contemporary letters and chronicles. For those already familiar with the basic events, this method of presentation adds authenticity and immediacy. Novices may find the approach confusing. They will be better served by starting with Charles Ross's The Wars of the Roses (LJ 6/15/77; 1986. pap.).-- Ronald Fritze, Lamar Univ., Beaumont, Tex.