The Battle of Wakefield Revisited

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in Bookworm

We first heard on the Ricardian grapevine about a  new analysis the Battle of Wakefield and  a fresh perspective on Richard of York’s final battle on 30 December 1460.  The book by Helen Cox is due to be published later this month.

On her website Helen tells us that historians have for a long time tried to reason why the Duke of York would have taken on the much stronger Lancastrian forces in this battle.  Some believe that the Duke was reckless and stupid, an ageing commander past his prime who made a bad decision – or that he charged out in blind fury because the enemy had sent heralds to insult him. Others think he made a heroic but futile attempt to rescue some of his foragers who were under attack; or that he didn’t realise how big the Lancastrian army was, because many of their troops were cunningly hidden in nearby woodland, waiting to charge out and ambush him.

Helen says that she has never been convinced by these theories, which aren’t well supported by contemporary reports of the battle. So in The Battle of Wakefield Revisited she has tried to pull together and re-examine all the surviving historical and archaeological evidence relating to the encounter.  She promises us a far simpler and more plausible explanation of why the Duke of York rode out to face his enemies that day.

The book will be launched on 31 May 2010 at Mickelgate Bar in York.  Helen and her husband Mick will be there in costume to sell and sign copies.  What a pity that we won’t be able to join them!

So we contacted Helen, to find out how we would be able to get hold of copies of this fascinating new study.  She informed us that the book will be available online from York Publishing Services £12.00 sterling plus p+p (at today’s exchange rate approx. Aus $20 plus p+p).

She also told us that writing the book was a real labour of love for the past 18 months.  She is fortunate enough to live only a mile from the Duke of York’s castle at Sandal, so she regularly visits it and often thinks of him and her favourite of his sons.  And I’m sure you can all guess who that is!

Keep an eye on Helen’s website for further information and developments.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 at 14:35 and is filed under Bookworm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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  1. Richard III Society of NSW » Blog Archive » The Battle of Towton on BBC    May 19 2010 / 9am:

    […] Cox, the author of the forthcoming new evaluation of the Battle of Wakefield (see here), let us know that a half-hour programme on the Battle of Towton has just been broadcast on BBC 1, […]

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