Books 2013

4 July 2013 – Fatal Rivalry, Flodden 1513: Henry VIII and James IV and the Decisive Battle for Renaissance Britain by George Goodwin

‘FATAL RIVALRY provides the first in-depth examination of the Battle of Flodden, the biggest and bloodiest in British history. James IV came to the Scottish throne as a fifteen-year-old widely suspected of ordering the murder of his own father. Chronicling James’s curbing of a nobility to whom regicide was second nature, FATAL RIVALRY charts his ascent to the first ruler of a unified Scotland. It shows how he was able to outfox Henry VII, and how the two countries later signed a Treaty of Perpetual Peace, cemented by James’s marriage to Henry VII’s eldest daughter, Margaret Tudor. Following five centuries of fluctuating relations with England, peace between the two countries was never guaranteed for long. After the death of Henry VII, James’s ambition to become a great Renaissance prince quickly clashed with the new teenage king, his brother-in-law Henry VIII of England. The ensuing rivalry was a full-scale political, ceremonial and even cultural competition at a time of rapid technological, economical and geopolitical change, fuelled by shifting alliances with France and Spain, Popes and Emperors. This book captures the importance of the key players in the story – the kings and their respective queens, their nobles, diplomats and generals – as the rivalry brought the two countries inexorably to war. Fatefully, it would be an error by James, that most charismatic of commanders, and in the thick of engagement, that would make him the last British king to fall in battle, would condemn the bulk of his nobility to a similarly violent death and settle his country’s fate.’


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