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Agincourt: The King, the Campaign, the Battle Hardcover – 6 Oct 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; 1st edition (6 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316726486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316726481
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 4.4 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 372,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Yorkshire, Juliet Barker was educated at Bradford Girls' Grammar School and St Anne's College, Oxford, where she studied history. Widely acclaimed for setting new standards of literary biography, she is also an expert on chivalry and the world authority on medieval English tournaments. Her books include The Brontës, Conquest and the bestselling Agincourt. In 1999 she was one of the youngest ever recipients of an honorary Doctorate of Letters, awarded by the University of Bradford in recognition of her outstanding contribution to literary biography, and in 2001 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She is married, with two children, and lives in the South Pennines.

www.julietbarker.co.uk

Product Description

Review

... a lively, stimulating account of this bloody day of battle. It is full of both serious research and entertaining gems. Barker makes the politics of the Hundred Years (War lucidly comprehensible.')

Erica Wagner, The Times ('History writ fine, overflowing with extraordinary details...a milestone in Agincourt studies')

Independent ('She brings vividly to life scenes such as the ceremonial surrender of Harfleur at the outset of the campaign, or the extraordinary pageant mounted by the city of London to celebrate the victorious king's return.')

Richard Barber, Literary Review ('Juliet Barker tells this story beautifully. If you buy just one book of history this year, choose this one. It will make a wonderful Christmas present for it is a handsome book, well illustrated, but above all, it is a great story and Juliet Barker has w)

Book Description

One of the most successful history hardbacks of 2005/6. A stunning chronicle of the Battle of Agincourt -- with Hastings, Waterloo and Trafalgar, one of the four great battles in Anglo-French history.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is simply a superb book or history as it should be written for a wide audience. Unsurprisingly, it has attracted many reviews and about 80% of them rate this book a well-deserved five stars.

It has many qualities and I am quite sure that I am going to miss at least a few of them in the next few paragraphs.

One is that it is not only about the battle itself. Rather, it replaces it in the much wider context of a whole campaign conducted by a recently drown king who needed a victory to establish his somewhat controversial claim to the throne of England.

Another is that it helps to explain what is one of the most crushing and well known of all victories won largely against the odds (at least on paper), whith the English army being outnumbered more than 2 to 1, cornered and force to fight for its survival - a somewhat similar scenario as that of the battle of Crécy in 1346 but with an even more devasting outcome perhaps (for the French, of course).

A third is that this book is also in a way the introduction to the author's next book which tells the rest of the story - largely what happened after Azincourt - in her "English Kingdom of France" which is just as superb a read as this one.

A fourth quality is that this book almost reads like a novel despite being a high quality and highly researched piece of scholarship. I bought this book some 6 years ago and could not put it down when reading it. I picked it up again quite recently to write a review on it and ended up rereading it from cover to cover and still unable to put it down before I had finished it once again.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book extremely readable and very entertaining. Not something you can say about a lot of historical tomes.

The author gives a compelling account of the actual battle. So much so that the smell of the horses, the blood and gore and all the other noxious smells that are part and parcel of a battlefield seem to pervade the readers nostrils.

However the book is not just about the battle itself but also about the participants particularly the English King, scheming churchmen and murderous Dukes. The knightly heroes, cowards, surgeons and spies. The book has them all.

The author has made it possible for history to be enjoyed by a wider audience, rather than the academic. History has always been interesting. Books written like this one will make many more readers aware of that fact.
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Format: Paperback
Juilet Barker's Agincourt was very entertaining and enlightening book on the most famous English victory of all time. What I really liked about Barker's book was that she disregared the Shakespeareian Henry V we all know and admire, and instead she focused on the historical Henry, a much less likeable character.

I loved how Barker highlighted the many attributes that Henry V had from his contemporaries. He was known as a very Christian king, and was very muched admired for his wars in Wales and his pious upbringing. His childhood is very much highlighted as one of a military commander and a 'chivarous' English knight.

This book was a very good one, from the weight of evidence to the way Barker plays out the Agincourt campaign. It was certainly a good buy for me.
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Format: Hardcover
I found this book extremely readable and very entertaining. Not something you can say about a lot of historical tomes.

The author gives a compelling account of the actual battle. So much so that the smell of the horses, the blood and gore and all the other noxious smells that are part and parcel of a battlefield seem to pervade the readers nostrils.

However the book is not just about the battle itself but also about the participants particularly the English King, scheming churchmen and murderous Dukes. The knightly heroes, cowards, surgeons and spies. The book has them all.

The author has made it possible for history to be enjoyed by a wider audience, rather than the academic. History has always been interesting. Books written like this one will make many more readers aware of that fact.
Comment 11 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This really is a well researched, well written and well presented book. Juliet Barker excels in offering not only a great historical text but also a hugely entertaining read.

The balance of this book is just right with enough detail to put you on the battlefield yet not so much detail that you are wishing your way through dull or irrelevant material. The presentation of the book is also well considered with it's division into clear parts of the campaign and bite size chapter lengths that allow the reader to digest each part with ease.

If you fancy an entertaining read about King Henry V and the battle of Agincourt then look no further.
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Format: Paperback
The extraordinary story of Agincourt, the battle fought by Henry V in France, and made legendary by Shakespeare's play, comes to life in this book. Barker writes with a measured pace, telling the story of why Henry felt he had to stake his claim to the throne of France, and how he was able to exploit the divisions in a France at war with itself - and yet it might all have so easily come to nothing.

Barker details the preparations made for the expedition which almost bankrupted some of the nobles who had to sell land and mortgage themselves in order to provide the men, equipment, food and clothing that would be needed en route. A mixture of guile and good fortune followed Henry, in all his dealings with the French, whose unruly aristocrats kept spilling over into internal disputes. Henry's watchword was discipline - he allowed no looting of the countryside, kept firm control of his troops and triumphed with a mixture of good-luck and a driven belief that his cause was right and true.

Barker's description of the battle is a tremendous feat of informed imagination and garnered detail. The main mistake the French made was in allowing the English to choose the battle site, and even in allowing the English to draw close enough to reposition their bowmen. In spite of outnumbering the English by as much as six to one in some accounts, the French charge, when it came, was disastrous. This absolutely compelling history book tells the story of two kingdoms, two armies and a battle depicted with graphically explicit detail. I doubt if a better book will ever be written on Agincourt.
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