When Henry VII seized the throne after the Battle of Bosworth, his crown was far from secure. Yet for more than a hundred years his descendents ruled in England, surviving religious turmoil, rebellion, foreign armadas, diplomatic crises and losses overseas. Some of them went reluctantly to war whilst others embraced its potential, yet all relied upon military success for their own reflected power and prestige. "The Fighting Tudors" explores this extraordinary dynasty's strategies for survival, and shows how military action to defend the throne became a sophisticated propoganda tool. It traces the great battles of Tudor reigns, from campaigns in France and Scotland to the crises of the Armada, and reveals their public and private impact upon individual monarchs - Heny VII, the 'sea king' who pledged to bring peace to his ravaged country; Henry VIII, who loved traditional jousting yet commissioned cutting-edge ships for his standing navy; Mary, whose loss of Calais compounded the disappointments of her reign; and Elizabeth whose dramatic speech at Tilbury became a defining moment of her reign.Ambitious courtiers and military commanders mingle with volatile monarchs and the great seafarers - Drake, Hawkins, Raleigh and Frobisher - who through exploration, plunder and courageous defence finally brought England dominance on the seas.
Although the Tudors ruled England for well over a century (1485-1603), in The Fighting Tudors Prof. Loades (Oxford) gives us the first general survey of the English way of war in the period, one that he argues is characterized by the “civilianization” of government functions, with a focus on war, as state institutions evolved. A short introduction on the nature of kingship is followed by reign-by-reign look at how military and naval administration, organization, and equipment evolved in the period, and, of course, the actual conduct of operations. There are short accounts of various wars and rebellions, even covert operations, and a look at the increasing integration of diplomatic and military activities as England developed into a major power. This is a good look at the development of the military side of one of the first nation-states in the modern sense, and a valuable read for those interested in British history, the Renaissance, and the rise of modern military institutions.
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: The National Archives UK; First Edition edition (October 19, 2009)