The Last Plantagenets by Thomas B. Costain (1963)
I first read this book when I was 14 years old. My mother read it first and had high praise for it: nothing she liked better than lively, well-written history.
This history is as colorful as it gets. The Wars of the Roses and Richard III; the Peasants’ Revolt; Henry VI sinking into lunacy; William Caxton setting up his printing press–they’re all here in glorious technicolor. And Costain isn’t afraid to admit it when his passions get involved. Nor is he afraid to dip into historical enigmas and controversies–did Richard III really murder his nephews?–weigh the evidence on either side, and try to find the truth.
Many young people think of history as a collection of boring and irrelevant trivia; but The Last Plantagenets is anything but that. It just might whet your appetite for more.
Recommended for ages 12 and up.