Fortune's wheel doth constantly turn, and the turn of the wheel does not guarantee anything...
Ten men, ten fortunes, ten ways that history could have been changed in ways that we can only imagine today. Looking back on the lives of the those who were cut short, the ramifications on the next generation can clearly be seen.
Taking a look at the lives of Edmund, Earl of Rutland, Edward of Middleham, Edward, Earl of Warwick, Arthur Tudor, and more, we see the unraveling of things that could have been. While we can say "could have, should have" now, it was not as cut and dry in those days. The mortality rates were high, and infant loss was normal. But these were not infants cut down before their life started, they were young men on the verge of breaking onto the international scene. Whether by illness or death in battle, we can look back at their lives and picture "what might have been."
Amy Licence does a great job in showing the dynamics of their lives, and of the lives of those around them. She fleshes out every aspect that she can find, while showing the courses that might have been open to them, had they lived. Henry Fitzroy was one of the most speculated characters. His father was setting him up for a bright future. Illegitimate or not, Henry VIII was determined that his son would have a glittering future, whether that be adviser to his future ruling children, or setting him up to be king in his own right. There are so many avenues that could have been taken, but death once again intervened, cutting short yet another life.
I enjoyed this read. It was something that I found to be interesting, but also provokes a lot of thought. The "might have been's" are prevalent, that they really make you think what history would have held if these young men had been able to fulfill their full potential. The one downside to this book was that there are some heavy biases in the text. While I can say as a historian we all have our biases, this book comes out with them extremely heavy in many cases. I would have enjoyed the book a bit more had they been a little more muted.