By Ian Mortimer
An epic account of King Henry V and the mythical conflict of Agincourt, from the writer of the bestselling Time Traveller's advisor to Medieval England.
Henry V is considered the nice English hero. Lionised in his personal lifetime for his victory at Agincourt, his piety and his rigorous software of justice, he used to be increased through Shakespeare right into a champion of English nationalism. yet does he particularly should be considered 'the maximum guy who ever governed England'?
In Ian Mortimer's groundbreaking ebook, he portrays Henry within the pivotal yr of his reign; recording the dramatic occasion of 1415, he bargains the fullest, so much specified and least romanticised view we've got of Henry and of what he did. the result's not just a desirable reappraisal of Henry; it brings to the fore many unpalatable truths which biographies and army historians have principally neglected. on the centre of the booklet is the crusade which culminated within the conflict of Agincourt: a slaughter flooring designed to not improve England's curiosity at once yet to illustrate God's approval of Henry's royal authority on either side of the channel.
1415 used to be a yr of spiritual persecution, own discomfort and one horrendous conflict. this is often the tale of that 12 months, as noticeable over the shoulder of its such a lot cold-hearted, such a lot bold and so much celebrated hero.
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Extra resources for 1415 : Henry V’s year of glory
The subject was not an ordinary man. Indeed, Henry V was not an ‘ordinary’ king. He was a hero in his own lifetime. Following his early death in France in 1422, he was given a semi-legendary status. In the 1590s he was already established as an English national icon; Shakespeare simply took that icon and gave it an enduring value, even to less warlike generations, by putting his most patriotic speeches into Henry’s mouth. Shakespeare also gave Henry a more rounded, likeable personality: he gave him a cheeriness that the real Henry never had.
Finally he had taken control of the government by stationing his men in strategic castles, and had levied punitive taxes – supposedly to defend the kingdom against England but in reality to further his own ambitions. In his final summing-up, Jean Petit declared that ‘my lord of Burgundy is not deserving of any blame whatever for what has happened to the criminal duke of Orléans. ’2 European politics has rarely seen such a great insult thrust on to such a devastating injury. If the assassination itself had strained relations between the lords, Jean Petit’s Justification of the duke of Burgundy gave further attempts at peaceable dialogue the character of a series of diplomatic manoeuvres prior to an outright declaration of war.
8 And Henry IV had always been much closer to the old duke of Berry, now one of the Armagnac lords, than to the Burgundians. Prince Henry had several reasons to listen to the Burgundians. The most obvious was that the safekeeping of Calais was his responsibility, and in that capacity his men already had experience of negotiating with John’s ambassadors. 9 Henry could not easily agree to talk to them about a truce in one arena and refuse to entertain the idea of a truce in another. But he probably also had the long-term strategic implications in mind.