This is an unusual work in that it is more an analysis of how others have seen Henry and rated him with regards to his personality and impact on history that a straight "this is the Henry I want you to know" book. It is relatively short (250 pages), but very well done for the individual who wants to go into the "history of Henry" rather than just to learn about him from a writer who is presenting a coherent point of view. From this work, the reader can make up his own mind about Henry or look further into the sources given by the author.
The author immediately makes the reader aware of the paucity of contemporaneous sources on Henry, and that several of those tended to embellish Henry's personality and deeds for their own agendas (or the King's favor.) He presents English views and French views during the period of Henry's life and until the Tudor line assumed power, then he gives the Tudor take on Henry (very much for their own purposes and to legitimatize their line), then Shakespeare's myth-making, and lastly later scholarship on Henry and his reign. Unfortunately for Americans, Shakespeare's plays are the primary source of our knowledge of Henry, and that depiction is definitely fiction enhanced to glorify the English monarchy and England's place in the world.
Henry's personality, deeds, and policies are discussed in a rather neutral presentation, with the author referring back to the sources on almost every subject. Indeed, the reader is given a many-sided view of Henry, but we are never to know the author's take on the individual himself. The problems of historical accuracy are presented in detail, and the reader is left to almost decide for himself how to make sense out of a complex subject that is poorly reported in history.
Lastly, there is a part about Henry's achievements and failures. From the author's discussion one is led to the conclusion that in the long run Henry wasn't particularly important -- his successes in France were almost immediately rendered inconsequential, and his impact on English history was essentially that of a heroic -- even mythical -- figure for people and later politicians to hold up as someone to associate themselves with.
All in all, I liked this book. It was a welcome change from the tomes that are really polemics disguised as history. For anyone interested in Henry V or the time of the Wars of the Roses, I heartily recommend this book.