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Azincourt Paperback – 11 Jun 2009

323 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 542 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st Paperback edition (11 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007271220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007271221
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (323 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bernard Cornwell was born in London, raised in Essex, and now lives mainly in the USA with his wife. In addition to the hugely successful Sharpe novels, Bernard Cornwell is the author of the Starbuck Chronicles, the Warlord trilogy, the Grail Quest series and the Alfred series.

Product Description

Review

Praise for Azincourt

‘If Bernard Cornwell was born to write one book, this is it. No other historical novelist has acquired such a mastery of the minutiae of warfare in centuries past. No one else could hope to take Shakespeare’s Henry V, strip it of its rhetoric and tell the unvarnished truth about the Battle of Agincourt’
Telegraph

‘A runaway success’
Guardian

'Nobody in the world does this stuff better than Cornwell – action set six hundred years ago is a fresh and vital as six days ago, with rough, tough men at war, proving once again that nothing changes – least of all great storytelling’
Lee Child

‘An extrordinary and dramatic description of the legendary battle of Agincourt from the number one historical novelist’
Hampshire View

‘a vivid, breathtaking and meticulously well research account’
Paisley Daily Express

Praise for Bernard Cornwell and Sword Song:

‘This is typical Cornwell, meticulously researched, massive inscope, brilliant in execution’ The Sun

'Great action scenes, rich in period detail, are underpinned by a feeling for the passions that shaped the Britain we know today' Sunday Telegraph, Seven Magazine

Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation' Daily Mail

'Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched' Observer

Review

'His best book yet. No one understands the experience of the common soldier better than Bernard Cornwell and in this gripping account of the Agincourt campaign, seen through the eyes of a simple archer, he tears away the gloss of legend to reveal the raw truth of medieval warfare in all its shocking brutality, filth and gore.'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

202 of 209 people found the following review helpful By wolf VINE VOICE on 10 Oct. 2008
Format: Hardcover
It probably comes as no suprise to anyone who saw Bernard Cornwell's glowing comments on the front of Juliet Barker's excellent history book 'Agincourt', that Cornwell turned his attention Henry V's famous, almost miraculous, victory over the French. The problem is how to make such an extraordinarily well known story - thanks to Shakespeare and numerous histories - seem fresh and exciting. Thankfully, we are in the hands of a master at this sort of thing.

His story of Nick Hook, an English longbowman, does more than simply tick the expected boxes. It successfully puts the victory at Agincourt into perspective both politically and socially. It does so by bringing us firmly into the lives of the people. These people realised as properly medieval men and women. Cornwell scores over so many of his competitors by convincing us that these are not simply modern men in fancy dress. Faith in Christianity, for example, and the battle between the heretical Lollard beliefs, common in England at the time, and the Church are woven into the fabric of the story. It will come as no suprise that the battle scenes are strongly and convincingly portrayed.

I always hesitate before giving a five star review, but this is certainly worth it.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By AS on 9 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book abroad recently while nursing a winter-sports injury and couldn't put it down. It is excellent dramatised history, bringing the reader right into the campaign and battle and the minds of the people who were there. As an ex-soldier I immediately identified with the way he conveys soldiers' thoughts and reactions when they face unpleasant realities. It has sparked a great interest to know more about Agincourt (I have bought Juliet Barker's book on the battle), and about Henry V's real reasons for undertaking this risky business. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BlackBrigand TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
AZINCOURT - Bernard Cornwell 2008

Firstly, I have always liked Mr Cornwell's stories and writing style and have faithfully collected each of his new books as published after receiving Sharpe's Gold as a gift in 1981. I really enjoyed this book, my long awaited copy arrived in 2008 whilst I was in hospital and as I was unable to read for several months, a situation far worse than my actual malady, got into my study and was overlooked until just recently.

I had thoroughly enjoyed the GRAIL QUEST trilogy, HARLEQUIN, VAGABOND and HERETIC, also set during the Hundred Years War but some 75 years earlier and Azincourt is very obviously intended to finish off the story that was started in the earlier novels. Thankfully, Mr Cornwell resisted the temptation to make his hero the son or grandson of Thomas of Hookton, although the characters have many similarities even down to the name Nicholas Hook.

A précis of the tale has been the subject of many other reviews and so I will not repeat it here, except to say that as usual Cornwell's novel is full of action and does not pull punches when describing the cruelty and carnage of medieval warfare or the duplicity and naked political greed of the Christian church at that time. As usual Mr Cornwell's research gives the story a believable grounding in historical fact and he acknowledges that much of this taken from Juliet Barker's excellent book, AGINCOURT, THE KING, THE CAMPAIGN, THE BATTLE pub.2005 probably the best and most readable academic work on the subject for some years.

Another top rate novel from Bernard Cornwell, packed with action, believable characters and historic personalities and a good story line woven around historical events.
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63 of 71 people found the following review helpful By edzshed on 10 Oct. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I've been a fan of Cornwell's for some years now and have read everything he's done, in the past I have found his one off story's lack the sheer brilliance of his books that are part of a series. Azincourt however is, in my opinion, the best novel Cornwell has as yet produced, it's simply awsome. There are some aspects here that just shouldn't work (mainly the bits with God and the Saints) but Mr C pulls it off without leaving the reader thinking 'yeah right like that'd happen'.

I read this in 2 days flat, it's the very best book I have read in a long time, I implore you to buy this book, you will not be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IP TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 Jun. 2015
Format: Paperback
The perfect companion for all historical fiction enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Azincourt is a novel about the travels of the Englishman Nicholas Hook. It follows him from being outlawed, to surviving the blood bath of Soissons, fighting in Harfleur, and ending with the great battle between the English and French at Azincourt on October 25, 1415.

Nicholas starts off as a forester who finds himself on the wrong side of the law due to a longstanding family vendetta between the Hooks and the Perrills and is outlawed and sent to Soissons to fight for England as an archer. It is Hook's excellent ability with the bow that saves him from a hanging and he sees his first battle at Soissons. It is during the fighting that Nick first hears the voices of Saints Crispinian, who continues to speak and guide Nick through his worst moments.

At Soissons, Nicholas saves the life of a nun named Melisande, and journeys with her to Harfluer where he again engages in battle again and is trained by the knight Sir John Cornewaille. He also befriends other archers in his regiment and the book details their adventures, alongside Melisande together through Harfleur and Azincourt.

The book is incredibly detailed without being boring. It's history come to life; I couldn't put it down once I started reading. At times, it is extremely graphic and violent, in particular at Soissons, but it gives the reader an understanding of medieval warfare. It is not for the faint at heart and there were moments where it became too easy to picture the horrors. Nonetheless, I wouldn't have changed this in the book.
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