How Henry VI’s love of peace cost him the throne – and his life

Henry VI was merciful and generous. But what English kings required most during the Wars of the Roses was a core of steel – and Henry's lack of one would make him easy prey for his foes. Lauren Johnson tells the story of a monarch who was simply too soft to lead his troubled nation

As a child king, Henry VI – shown in a c16th-century portrait – learned the lessons of kingship from books. Unfortunately, those books didn't extol the merits of ruthlessness and practising realpolitik. (Photo by Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)

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