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Source Exercise 4: The Wars of the Roses 3

The picture comes from an illustrated book called The Troy Book. The book is a long romance about the siege of Troy by the ancient Greeks. It was written in verse by the poet John Lydgate in the first half of the fifteenth century; this edition, however, dates from later. We can tell this because it shows Edward IV crowned, clothed in coronation regalia and seated on the throne. The book was completed in at least two stages: most of the work has been dated to c1455-1462, but some of the miniatures and heraldic emblems were only added in the 1520s. The story of Troy was especially significant for the English because their foundation myth was that the English nation had been established by soldiers who had travelled right across Europe and the Middle East at the end of the Trojan wars.

C) Questions:

  • Why do you think a coronation picture of Edward IV might have appeared in this illustrated romance about the Trojan wars?
  • Do you think the man and woman kneeling at King Edward’s feet might be significant?

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