The civil wars of the second half of the fifteenth century still stand in the popular imagination as the period of greatest anarchy in English history. This accessible introduction offers an overview of the debates surrounding the character, causes, impact and consequences of the wars. Thematically organised, the text also reviews the historiography of the years 1459-1487. Thoroughly revised and updated in the light of twenty-first century scholarship, the third edition of this established text includes: * a new chapter focused on the character of the wars * significant new material on the engagement of ordinary people in the politics of the period * additional sections on the involvement of, and impact on, women. The Wars of the Roses is ideal for students and general readers seeking a reliable and balanced introduction to the topic.