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The Brothers York


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The gripping new history of a dynasty that seized the English throne - then tore itself apart.

About the Author

Thomas Penn is the author of the acclaimed, bestselling Winter King, which won the H. W. Fisher Best First Biography Prize.


A gripping, complex and sensational story, told with calm narrative command. It's a story we think we know - but most accounts leave the personnel as frozen as portraits in stained glass. Here, the three York brothers spring to ferocious life, and you need strong nerves to meet them. With insight and skill, Penn cuts through the thickets of history to find the heart of these heartless decades. -- Hilary Mantel
The Brothers York is not just a magisterial work of sublime scholarship, it's a pure page-turner. I couldn't put it down. The wonderful thing about Thomas Penn is that he makes some of the most familiar stories in English history feel fresh and exciting. -- Amanda Foreman
An immense, sinewy political thriller. Thomas Penn has the enviable skill of presenting hard research with a light touch. The Brothers York is savage, exciting, blisteringly good. -- Jessie Childs, author of God's Traitors
An epic orgy of colour and character: there are soldiers and townsmen, poets and pirates, battlefield massacres and hidden murders ... One of the great strengths of Brothers York is the attention paid to the European stage. -- Leanda de Lisle * The Times *
A rip-roaring account ... Pacy, engrossing and evocative in its details (of feasts and jousts as well as battles and diplomatic skulduggery), it engages the reader's emotions as well as intellect. -- Chris Given-Wilson * Times Literary Supplement *
Superb. The tragedy and brutality of the Wars of the Roses jumps out from every page of Penn's book ... An impressive and engaging read. -- Kate Maltby * Financial Times *
Thrilling, pacy ... Brings a novelist's verve to his telling of events ... Penn's history of betrayal, backstabbing and paranoia strikes notes that still resonate today. -- John Gallagher * The Guardian *
Fresh and lively narrative swagger ... Peppered with delightful, telling anecdotes and details. Some are comical and others grisly, but all breathe life into their subject ... Perhaps the greatest strength of Penn's entertaining book is his understanding of the warping effects of European affairs on English domestic stability. -- Dan Jones * The Sunday Times *
Epic, racy, breaks new ground ... Penn combines a keen sense of time, place, circumstance and anecdote with a firm grasp of human psychology, of the macabre, the comic and the tragic, and - perhaps as important as any of these - an instinct for the rhythm of a sentence. -- John Guy * London Review of Books *
An exceptionally detailed and absorbing narrative history with a gallantly sustained human touch ... Penn's Yorkist England is an excellent place to take an exciting, and instructive, holiday from 2019. -- Minoo Dinshaw * The Telegraph *
Gripping, richly contextualised and meticulously researched ... a vital corrective to the ongoing, polarising battle over Richard III's legacy. -- Marcus Nevitt * The Spectator *
Enthralling... Penn captures the weirdness, the ferocity and a glint of unexpected tenderness [on Winter King] -- Hilary Mantel
Imagine Wolf Hall rewritten by John le Carre... gripping... a rare achievement [on Winter King] -- Tom Holland
Thrilling and sinister [on Winter King] -- Simon Sebag Montefiore
Gripping... brilliant... The enigmatic Henry is brought thrillingly to life as one of the most unlikely but tenacious kings ever to wear the English crown. [on Winter King] -- Dan Jones * Daily Telegraph *

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