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The War of the Roses was a series of dynastic wars for the throne of England. They were fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet, the houses of Lancaster and York. They were fought in several sporadic episodes between 1455 and 1487, although there was related fighting before and after this period. The conflict resulted from social and financial troubles that followed the Hundred Years' War, combined with the mental infirmity and weak rule of Henry VI, which revived interest in the alternative claim to the throne of Richard, Duke of York.
The final victory went to a Lancastrian claimant, Henry Tudor, who defeated the last Yorkist king, Richard III, at the Battle of Bosworth Field. After assuming the throne as Henry VII, Henry Tudor married Elizabeth of York, the daughter of Edward IV, thereby uniting the two houses. In an era leading to what is sometimes referred to as the "Golden Age" of Elizabeth, the House of Tudor ruled England and Wales until 1603.
The object of this book is to furnish readers with a narrative of this struggle between York and Lancaster which deluged England with blood, cost a hundred thousand lives, emasculated the old nobility, and utterly destroyed the house of Plantagenet.