Lost Legend of the Thryberg Hawk, The Mystery Crossbow Boy who Saved the Fortunes of York at the Battle of Towton

B2066

This is a great story that is well worth reading and will appeal to a much wider readership because it is a cracking tale that demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of the human character, suspense, thrills and the violence of a Medieval battlefield.

This is an enjoyable and compelling tale that sits somewhere between fiction and non-fiction. As with most victors, the Tudors embarked on an enthusiastic re-writing of the history of the epic struggle between York and Lancaster. Some stories were deliberately suppressed and others were simply left out of the Tudor account of the civil wars between the two houses. However, oral histories, frequently dismissed by historians as ‘folklaw’ in favour of the highly misleading propaganda of the victor, contain valuable information and may prove the true history of events. What they lack is the fine detail and personalities of the story. When an author combines folk law, with historical research and creative imagination, the resulting book can become a very valuable element of historical knowledge. It remains for each reader to decide how far to use this new book as an expansion of knowledge of what took place and how far to treat it as a great story, well-told and a saga of events.

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NAME: Lost Legend of the Thryberg Hawk, The Mystery Crossbow Boy who Saved the Fortunes of York at the Battle of Towton
DATE: 141114
FILE: R2066
AUTHOR: Jack Holroyd
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 352
PRICE: £19.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Wars of the Roses, York, Lancaster, Battle of Towton, Medieval, crossbow, common soldier, knights, civil war, weapons, tactics, chance
ISBN: 1-78383-181-2
IMAGE: B2066.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/nhk9b7f
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: This is an enjoyable and compelling tale that sits somewhere between fiction and non-fiction. As with most victors, the Tudors embarked on an enthusiastic re-writing of the history of the epic struggle between York and Lancaster. Some stories were deliberately suppressed and others were simply left out of the Tudor account of the civil wars between the two houses. However, oral histories, frequently dismissed by historians as ‘folklaw’ in favour of the highly misleading propaganda of the victor, contain valuable information and may prove the true history of events. What they lack is the fine detail and personalities of the story. When an author combines folk law, with historical research and creative imagination, the resulting book can become a very valuable element of historical knowledge. It remains for each reader to decide how far to use this new book as an expansion of knowledge of what took place and how far to treat it as a great story, well-told and a saga of events.

During the Wars of the Roses, there was a combination of professional soldiers, knights, and common people, the latter sometimes volunteers, but often those with limited military experience who owed allegiance to a knight or earl and were included in that leader’s retinue as part of the feudal debt owed to the king. The stories of Crecy and Agincourt feature the important role of the longbow and the introduction of firearms, but the crossbow continued to serve as an important weapon on the battlefield and a convenient weapon for hunting. Most armies of the time included crossbowmen, who were often part of trained bands that were hired as mercenaries, in many cases, foreign mercenaries from across Europe, including Switzerland.

The author has recounted the story of the Thryberg Hawk to produce an enveloping story that contains considerable and provable historic detail. The text is supported by a colour plate section and some very informative appendices.

Some historians have been very ‘sniffy’ about books similar to this one. However, it is really little different from television series where history is told as a combination of narration and acting to recreate a piece of history in an information style that is also great entertainment. This attitude to creatively presented works is snobbish and illogical because the accepted wisdom of historians is so often based largely on accounts that were written even more creatively and far less accurately than a story told as the Thryberg Hawk.

This is a great story that is well worth reading and will appeal to a much wider readership because it is a cracking tale that demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of the human character, suspense, thrills and the violence of a Medieval battlefield.

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