The Wars of the Roses: 5

Virtual classroom

Dominic Mancini's London centric view

The extract on the previous page 'The Wars of the Roses: 4' is taken from an account of Richard III’s usurpation written by the Italian scholar, Dominic Mancini, who was in England at the time. Mancini’s picture of Edward IV is in many ways a literary exercise in explaining his fall, but it also suggests something of Edward’s strengths and weaknesses as a king. Being based in London, Mancini was better informed about Edward IV’s court than about Richard, then duke of Gloucester, who spent most of his time in the North. Moreover, Mancini was back on the continent by the end of 1483.

Source extract comes from Dominic Mancini, The Usurpation of Richard the Third, trans. and ed. C.A.J. Armstrong (Oxford, 1969), pp. 64-7.


E) What significance do you think should be attached to:

  • Mancini’s unflattering picture of Edward IV’s queen, Elizabeth Woodville
  • Mancini’s comments about Edward IV’s generosity to strangers and foreigners
  • The fact that Mancini lived in London and was back in Italy by the time Richard III was settling into power