Peter Marshall

The Pretenders

The Last White Rose: Dynasty, Rebellion and Treason – The Secret War against the Tudors

By Desmond Seward

Constable 366pp £20 order from our bookshop

‘English History’, declared those evergreen sages W C Sellar and R J Yeatman in 1066 and All That, ‘has always been subject to Waves of Pretenders’. Their hilarious chapter on Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck (transmuting into permutations of each other – Warmnel, Perbeck, Warmneck, Lamkin) is one of the highlights of the book. But for the ruling Tudor dynasty, as Desmond Seward reminds us in this lively and readable new study, the existence of Yorkist pretenders was no laughing matter.

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