Interview: David Santiuste - Medieval king Edward IV has always fascinated me

Share this article

IT was growing up in Yorkshire, hearing how battles were fought there, that first sparked David Santiuste's interest in medieval history.

Now 20 years later, David has a book out telling the story of the English king, Edward IV.

Despite David's background as a former academic at St Andrews University, the book is aimed at the general reader, rather than historians.

The 33-year-old explains: "I wanted to put people at the heart of the story."

It's certainly a way of storytelling which David sounds like he has experience of – his last publication was a contribution to Medieval Sexuality: A Casebook, a collection of essays, covering topics such as sex, alcohol, and the late-medieval stereotype of the unruly woman.

As for his latest topic, the writer, who moved to Edinburgh ten years ago, says he has always been "fascinated" with Edward IV.

The English king wasn't as concerned with Scotland as some of his counterparts – but could hardly ignore his neighbour, as the early 1460s were marked by Scottish raids on northern England. "Edward's reign saw the final transfer of Berwick to English rule, in 1482, after it had gone back and forth for much of the Middle Ages," says David.

The writer, who lives in Stockbridge, already has another book in the planning – on Henry Hotspur, a northern English nobleman famous for his battles with the Scots.

"I've also enjoyed exploring the rich history of Edinburgh since I've been living in the city. It's been done before, but I'd love to write a book about Deacon Brodie one day – a fascinating character!"

Edward IV and the Wars of the Roses by David Santiuste is published by Pen and Sword Books Ltd, priced 19.99