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New Medieval Books: De La Pole, Father and Son

De La Pole, Father and Son: The Duke, the Earl and the Struggle for Power

By Michèle Schindler

Amberley Publishing
ISBN: 978 1 3981 0618 5

A double biography of two leading nobles in fifteenth-century England: John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, and his son, also named John. They become involved in the politics of the English crown and the Wars of the Roses.


That autumn, John turned eight years old. A lot had changed for him since his seventh birthday, and was almost certainly traumatised by what had happened. No one had ever threatened him openly, but he would have experienced fear such as is hardly imagined today. At only eight years of age, John had experienced all the dangers of being prominently involved in the politics of a highborn.


It is certainly possible, as is often assumed, that this sparked his desire to have a fairly calm life, setting his own concerns and that of his family over those of affairs of state. It seems a reasonable deduction, though of course we cannot really know. Perhaps it was simply in his character to be more interested in his immediate concerns than in those of the state or other people. In modern histories he is often mocked for it, even labelled as ‘feeble’ or ‘cowardly’, but it was to prove a good course of action for him and his family, so it could be argued that he learnt the right lessons from his father’s fate.

Who is this book for?

Many people love English history, especially that set in the Wars of the Roses era, and they will be interested in a book that covers this time from a different perspective. It is a history filled with politics, battles, power and death, as the De La Pole family is drawn into the wider story of the fight for the English crown.


The author:

Michèle Schindler is a historian who focuses on late medieval England, having already several written books, such as Lovell our Dogge: The Life of Viscount Lovell, Closest Friend of Richard III and Failed Regicide and Mental Health in Late Medieval England: A Surprising History of Mental Illness and Its Treatment in Society. You can learn more about her work through Michèle’s blog or Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter @FLovellInfo

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