This a good book, with several subsections on various aspects of Henry V, his adult life and reign. I was left a little disappointed after reading it though. The author mainly presents the book as a character reference of Henry through the ages. How he has been portrayed by history, and in the populace by such influential works as the plays of Shakespeare. He also looks at what previous historians have written about Henry, and the feelings of both contempory English and French writers, and historians through the ages, on some of Henry's actions during peace and war. It IS a very interesting book from that point of view, with the main part of the book focused on Agincourt and Henry's campaigns in France and his regency period of the French throne. However I would have liked a bit more information on Henry's upbringing, and the political and economic changes of his childhood into adulthood. There is brief reference to the Battle of Shrewsbury, but not really enough for the reader wanting a more in depth biography. This book is still worth 4 stars, but it will leave you thinking it lacks depth.
Henry V, by Keith Dockray, adds to a growing list of excellent titles by Tempus on the Hundred Years War. The book is split up into three sections: in History, Life and Reign and in retrospect. The first section takes a look at historical writings on the king, and describes works from the 15th century to the modern day. Numerous sources are discussed and the section seems to have been research in some depth. Anybody wanting accurate historical information and sources will find this a must The middle section looks at the chronological events of the king life; it starts with his birth in 1387 at Monmouth and ends with his burial in November 1422. It discusses all the import events of this life: The battle of Shrewsbury, The Lollards, The Southampton Plot, The Agincourt Campaign, The Conquest of Normandy and the Treaty of Troyes. The section is over 100 pages long, but leaves you wanting more. The final section is small and reviews his personality, achievements and failure and his legacy. This is covered in thirty-four pages and again leaves the reader wanting more. Dockray has clearly researched this topic in depth and anybody interested in this subject will find this an enjoyable read. Tempus are becoming the first choice for the period
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Henry V is best remembered for his sweeping military successes in France where such victories as Agincourt lead to him being named as the heir to the French throne at Troyes. However he is not universally applauded. Dockray analyses what people felt of Henry at the time and the changing histography of later periods. Dockray clearly researched the topic in depth and provides some material not widely used elsewhere. He certainly adds valuable insight into the debate surrounding Henry. Its a enjoyable read and suitable for both student and someone generally interested in history. On the downside it can feel repetitive at times because many sources are used to express the same point. It is highly recommended nevertheless.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Good Overview of Opinions of Henry15 Sept. 2005
Victoria I. Adams
- Published on Amazon.com
This is less a biography than it is a overview of how Henry has been treated by historians, dramatists, and population culture. The actual life and assessment of the man takes up less than a third of the book and is pretty standard stuff. The analysis of how history has treated Henry is interesting and good source material but the absence of any real coherant theme under the analysis or final summing up undermines its value. I would say this is good source material for a college paper if you didn't want to read the orginal texts and helpful for the reader to learn where to go next, but not the best source for an understanding of various interpretations of Henry.