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Bibliophile price: £3.75
Sub-titled 'Henry V, Agincourt, and the Campaign that Shaped Medieval England' acclaimed historian Desmond Seward presents a radical new look at Henry V. Here he is as a brilliant and brutal warmonger. In the course of the Hundred Years War, King Henry V was the English figure most responsible for the mutual antipathy that existed between France and England. His art of attacking an opponent by making total war on civilians as well as soldiers created tremendous distrust and enmity between the two countries which survives even to this day. He was a man of contradiction, a perverse mix of rigorous orthodoxy exemplified by his fanatical and intolerant religion, and of neurotic insecurity, stemming in part from the dubious nature of his claim to the English throne. He owed his popularity at home to victories against the French that gratified an emerging English nationalism. A tremendously ardent military strategist who experimented with ballistics and built the first English Navy, Henry controlled one third of modern day France at the time of his early death at the age of 36. Using new discoveries from local French historical societies, Seward shows Henry as a brilliant military strategist, ambitious conqueror and at least briefly as a triumphant warrior king. 2014 reprint with new preface updating the 1980s edition of this much-admired work of history. The author remains convinced that Henry's ramshackle Anglo-French monarchy and Duchy of Normandy were doomed from the start, even as they struggled on for 30 years. In the end the crown was impoverished, the Wars of the Roses occurred, and there was the destruction of the Lancastrian dynasty. 252pp in paperback with illustrations, plates and maps.

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