Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Myth of "The Cousins' War"

Leanda de Lisle explains why the more accurate name is still "The Wars of the Roses":
When I wrote my new dynastic history, ‘Tudor’ I believed that ‘the Wars of the Roses’ was a term first coined by the nineteenth century novelist Sir Walter Scott. The historian Dan Jones has since traced these exact words back to the eighteenth century historian David Hume. But as I note in Tudor, the origins of the phrase are much older than the form of words we now use.

The ‘wars of the roses’ were being referred to as ‘the quarrel of the two roses’ in the mid seventeenth century Before then you have Shakespeare’s play Henry VI, part I, with the scene in which Richard, Duke of York quarrels with the Lancastrian leader, Edmund, Duke of Somerset. The two men ask others to show their respective positions by picking a rose – red for Lancaster and white for York. (Read more.)

No comments: