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Agincourt: A New History [Paperback]

Anne Curry
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: 12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

15 Oct 2006
As night fell in Picardy on Thursday 24 October 1415, Henry V and his English troops, worn down by their long march after the taking of Harfleur and diminished by the dysentery they had suffered there, can little have dreamt that the battle of the next day would give them one of the most complete victories ever won. Anne Curry's startling new history recreates the campaign and battle from the perspectives of the English and the French. Only now, through an in-depth investigation of the contemporary narrative sources as well as the administrative records, and through a new look at the terrain where the battle was fought, can we come to firmer conclusions on what exactly happened, and why. This book, based on years of painstaking research and reflection, makes clear the genius of Henry V as a military leader, and the strengths and capabilities of the English army which he commanded. There can be no doubt of the desire of the French to resist him and to protect their homeland from his invasion. The French fought bravely and to the death. So where did they go wrong? The answers to this, and many other questions, are found in this landmark new history.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (15 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752438131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752438139
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 12 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 312,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Anne Curry is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Southampton, editor of the Journal of Medieval History and the world's leading authority on the battle of Agincourt. This book is the distillation of her life's work. She is the advisor to the battle of Agincourt battlefield centre in Picardy and was historical consultant for the recent ITV documentary of the battle in the Battlefield Detectives series. Her other books include The Battle of Agincourt: Sources & Interpretations, Agincourt 1415 (as editor), and The Hundred Years War. Professor Curry is a member of the Society de L'Historie de France and of the Royal Historical Society.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZED 21 Oct 2011
I am frankly amazed by this book; and amazed that I am the first reviewer, at least in England, to give it the 5 stars it so richly deserves.

Anne Curry is the doyenne of Agincourt studies. She has studied the subject for an academic lifetime and published a magisterial summary of the main literary sources as long ago as 2000. She is Professor of History at Southampton. She has walked the route of the Agincourt campaign on many occasions. She is the first to study the French archives in any detail. Her conclusions are based firmly on the evidence. Her text is packed with information and helpful illustrations. Her footnotes will take the sceptical reader to wherever he wants to go. Yet, her 'New History' is vilified by some of my fellow reviewers, who cannot know more than a fraction of what she does about the subject.

Curry does make some controversial statements. For example, that Henry V's army was overwhelmingly English, and that the Welsh played only a small part. This view is based firmly on the considerable archive evidence; but she has received hate mail as a result, since it contradicts the view held by many Welsh patriots (which is based on emotion), and that held by some French historians (which is based on a desire to belittle the English role).

The main thesis is not that the English outnumbered the French (something which only Hans Delbruck and Ferdinand Lot have tried to assert); but that the English were not so outnumbered by the French as the chroniclers and William Shakespeare would have us believe. The fact that some things have always been accepted as true, does not make them true; and Curry's argument is once again based firmly on a careful examination of the archives, particularly the French.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars agincourt-a new perspective? 22 Mar 2006
I approached this book already haveing some knowledge of the subject,but was supprised at how little i actually knew.The author lays out superbly the thoughts of Henry V,and his planning for the campaign.It goes on to describe in incredible detail the seige of Harfleur and the subsiquent march to Calais.The scale of detail for the campaign records is fantastic as is the detail of the battle itself.My only gripe,and this is probably because im english,is that i feel the author plays down the greatness of the victory.She has a lot of french bias in numbers of frenchmen at the battle,putting it at only just bigger than the english.I myself think they outnumbered the english 2:1.Also she seems to dismiss the effects of the longbow as nothing more than a nuisance,instead claiming most french men fell over and were then despatched.If you take the authors figure for the english archers,multiply this by the number of arrows fired a minute,this gives a figure of 70,000 arrows/minute.If only 1 in a 100 killed someone....,i will leave it to you to make your own conclusions.All together a fantastic read,reccomended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good insight 4 Aug 2013
Have read other Agincourt/Azincourt books but his one really goes deep, almost being back at school and using this as reference for an exam.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reading 15 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Would recommended to anyone interested in the history of this period. Again bought by me as a gift but the person who received it was delighted
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Academically impressive - not an enjoyable read. 21 Jun 2011
By redvers
I am an avid history reader from the ancient writers to modern. I'd recently read Juliet Barker's books (Agincourt and Conquest) and Ian Mortimers book on Edward III so on the basis of the cover reviews I snapped this up eagerly.
Firstly I have no problem with the author presenting revised figures for the armies present and certainly didn't approach the book from any 'jingoistic' angle. Secondly I'm impressed by the extensive research that the author has carried out to arrive at her conclusions.
My rating of three stars is purely on how much I enjoyed the book. There were several aspects that made it a difficult read. The lack of more detailed maps made it very problematic trying to follow the route of Henry's march to Agincourt. There was much jumping around in chronology so that people who had been announced as being killed then resurfaced a few pages later. It also doesn't help the reader when referring to nobles a number of ways e.g. Duke of Burgundy/Duke John. There was also a certain amount of repetition which made me question whether I was reading the same section again.
Ultimately the book was one I had to push myself to finish rather than being something that made me want to read it. I'm sure it is a vital work of reference - but sadly I didn't find it a satisfying read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 30 Jun 2014
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This is a superb examination of the Agincourt campaign, marked out by its respect for contemporary (and near contemporary) evidence, rather than later spin. If the perpetuation of jingoistic myth is your thing, you're probably not going to like this. If, on the other hand, you enjoy a narrative based on top class research, this is a wonderful example of what can be achieved. It should be noted here too, that Anne Curry's conclusions in no way diminish Henry V's achievement on that fateful field, it's just that she puts it into historically verifiable context.

The book opens with the reasons for war and the political background in England and France, and then progressess to how the English and French armys were mustered and the evidence for both. Harfleur then takes centre stage and the number of soldiers Henry lost and gained around that time. His probable line of march to Calais is then traced, with due consideration of other possible routes, and also that taken by the French. The events immediately before the battle are then reviewed, including the problems thrown up by the extant historical sources. The battle itself is then looked at from many points of view: the types of soldiers, their numbers, their health (remember, the French were rained on too), their morale, their tactical and topigraphical positioning and so forth. Here the author praises Henry's ingenuity in arraying his forces and explores the French response, all the while using contemporary (and near contemporary) sources, the latest military historical thinking, and her own intimate knowledge of the land there abouts. An indepth discussion follows on the treatment of the wounded and of prisoners, and the aftermath of the campaign.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Visiting Agincourt
Much more than i expected. I am visiting the site later this year on my way to the western front sarea of Arras. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Alan Hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars Monumental
This a monumental piece of serious research by Anne Curry. The detail is prodigious, but the book is very readable, and I was enthralled by it. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Allan Davy
2.0 out of 5 stars WILL READ THIS SOON
Published 18 months ago by john wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars book
Written by an academic, full of detail and everything you could wish to know as far as can be ascertained. Read more
Published 21 months ago by lyonedes
2.0 out of 5 stars A very confused account of the battle
There is no clear picture of the battle. There is a discussion of many sources most of which conflict and very little progress is made in reducing the confusion. Read more
Published 24 months ago by W. Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Will only be enjoyed by the serious, intelligent, and non-moronic of...
Prof Curry has crafted the most stunning study of the battle. I'm incredulous as to why this water-tight study has caused so much offence? Read more
Published on 2 May 2012 by De la Pole
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing!
Expected more, of a scholar of this calibre. Approached this book with an open mind as I am not one to mindlessly cling to hoary tradition. Read more
Published on 21 Mar 2012 by A. Tenney
1.0 out of 5 stars Revisionist ? Just Poor History....
Deary me...

Not so much a history book - revisionist or otherwise - rather a very poorly written book that is
very little more than an academic shouting "Look at... Read more
Published on 15 Jan 2012 by V. Morgan
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