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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb intoduction to a fascinating period...
The book does exactly what it says on the cover... it's a brief (but suprisingly detailed) look at a very long, very bloody conflict between two great nations in a period of many changes. He handles the political events of the period with care, never overpowering the reader with to much data.
The battle descriptions are fantastic, some of the best I've read outside...
Published on 11 Dec 2003 by Simon McMahon

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable
One of the few really readable books I have bought on the subject. Its fast paced and gives a good narrative overview of the war. The good read comes at a price - things are rather simplified. The overall perspective is of an England v France conflict, as though these were then the nation states that they are now. In practice the people who were kings of England at that...
Published on 14 Aug 2011 by Amazon Customer


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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb intoduction to a fascinating period..., 11 Dec 2003
By 
Simon McMahon "Film Buff" (Chelmsford, Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Brief History of the Hundred Years War: The English in France, 1337-1453 (Paperback)
The book does exactly what it says on the cover... it's a brief (but suprisingly detailed) look at a very long, very bloody conflict between two great nations in a period of many changes. He handles the political events of the period with care, never overpowering the reader with to much data.
The battle descriptions are fantastic, some of the best I've read outside of historical fiction. The Hundred Years War is in my opinion one of the most interesting periods of history and Seward does it justice, describing in detail the colourful characters of the period including Edward the Black Prince, Henry V and the mad Charles VI of France (he thought he was made of glass... not to good a conviction when in battle)...
This book will leaving you desperate for more information on the period, I would recommend any of the Osprey books to do with the period (in particular that on Crecy), The Bowmen of England by Featherstone is also a good light read... and of course the Jonathon Sumption epic histories...
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hundred years never seemed so short a time!, 23 Sep 2003
This review is from: A Brief History of the Hundred Years War: The English in France, 1337-1453 (Paperback)
As the typical student of history at school, I found the subject tedious and irrelevant. Not so with this book. The years flew past as the author gave us enough information to identify with the main characters, enough details of the main events without becoming overwhelming and enough of the gory details to keep us interested! Holidays to South western France will never be the same again. This is history without the corderouy jackets, without the essays, warts and all. Fascinating.
PS It is no wonder the French still do not trust us as a nation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction, 10 April 2013
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This review is from: A Brief History of the Hundred Years War: The English in France, 1337-1453 (Paperback)
This is a superb introduction to the Hundred Years War. Seward sets the background clearly and takes the reader stage by stage through the tragic, unfolding drama. Characters are well described and the sequence of events is clear. The only screaming need for this book is maps! (Hence four, not five stars) Apart from a couple of battle diagrams, there are none, at all! Why not?
A book intended to provide an introduction to the subject is going to be read by people as yet unfamiliar with all the geography. I, for one, do not have a perfect knowledge of where all the dukedoms, castles, kingdoms and battlefields of 14th and 15th century France actually were. Many places have changed their names since then and some no longer exist in their old form. There are many excellent accounts of the ravaging expeditions of the English through huge areas of France, described by sequences of place names, but how can I find where they all are without maps! The text is excellent and the detail made memorable. Let no-one ever again wonder why the French hold no great affection for the English. Our savagery, inhumanity and greed were almost beyond belief. Hooray for Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt! Weep for the common people of France who were robbed and butchered in their thousands. These were apocalyptic days, and the book is a highly recommendable account of them. I shall read it again too. But please, publishers, put in the maps!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very compelling, 22 April 2012
By 
Didier (Ghent, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Brief History of the Hundred Years War: The English in France, 1337-1453 (Paperback)
Like many (maybe most?) of us I had only vague notions about the Hundred Years' War. Perhaps it's different if you're born in England or France, I can well imagine that both for the English and the French it's one of those defining moments in their national history, but if you're born - as I was - in a small provincial town in Flanders, well... it's different let's just say. Anyway, as I have a keen interest in history I felt this just wouldn't do, so I decided to try and remedy my lack of knowledge. Desmond Seward's book is excellent for this purpose: it's short (just 265 pages, not including the chronology, index and select bibliography), and in 11 short chapters plus an epilogue gives you a very broad but lively overview of this seminal conflict in Western European history. The major battles such as Crécy and Agincourt are there of course, but there's a lot more (happily): all major characters (and quite a few perhaps less important but all the more colourful too) and the reasons behind their politics and decisions are succinctly described, in a clear and fluent style. For a short introduction this book can hardly be bettered!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A begginers guide to "A Brief History of the Hundred Years War", 1 Aug 2010
This review is from: A Brief History of the Hundred Years War: The English in France, 1337-1453 (Paperback)
A good book if, like me your new to the hundred years war and wanted something to give you an oversight into the subject without getting to detailed/technical.

However, I feel the text would have come to life much better if it had by better images of the times and if small maps had have accompanied the narratives around each campaign.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable, 14 Aug 2011
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This review is from: A Brief History of the Hundred Years War: The English in France, 1337-1453 (Paperback)
One of the few really readable books I have bought on the subject. Its fast paced and gives a good narrative overview of the war. The good read comes at a price - things are rather simplified. The overall perspective is of an England v France conflict, as though these were then the nation states that they are now. In practice the people who were kings of England at that time were more French than English and most did not speak English. "France" consisted of a set of more or less independent areas each with its own Romance culture and language
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Introduction To A Forgotten Era., 28 Jun 2010
By 
A. Tomlinson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Brief History of the Hundred Years War: The English in France, 1337-1453 (Paperback)
Desmond Sewards ' A Brief History Of The Hundred Years War ' is a great introduction to the subject, the 100 years war is a little complicated for the novice enthusiast to absorb. It was a complex affair, political , ambitious, and greedy by our Barons, and the French. This book deals with all three issues and more,it is replete with names of protagonists,politicians and priests who took part in some way. The major battles of the conflict are covered quite well,there are also some comparitively minor affairs of arms also given representation in a well researched and measured way. In my opinion this book could be useful to a teenager for preperation purposes, indeed in this form of text they may even find it interesting. ( do teenagers still read books ? ) Anyway it is a good effort, but the specialist would certainly need more in depth text. At this price it is good value entertainment. A Brief History of the Hundred Years War: The English in France, 1337-1453
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 3 Feb 2013
This review is from: A Brief History of the Hundred Years War: The English in France, 1337-1453 (Paperback)
This is an excellent read for those who love history but might not know the background of the 100 years war. It flows throughout and is colourfully written. The book is also written as much as possible to include the ordinary people. It is a sympathetic account and equally horrifying. I couldn't put the book down and until now I was never interested in this period of history. Well worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a "brief" History, 8 Sep 2012
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This review is from: A Brief History of the Hundred Years War: The English in France, 1337-1453 (Paperback)
It is very well documented and it analyses events very thoroughly. Requires to concentrate if you are French like me and not familiar with the English side of La Guerre de Cent Ans. But I like his courage to declare how much the French had to suffer at the hands of these conquering and invading English!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, 6 May 2011
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This review is from: A Brief History of the Hundred Years War: The English in France, 1337-1453 (Paperback)
Pacey to the point and very, very informative. I like the authors style and never got bored. Would recommend to anyone wanting an introduction to the subject or just an over view out of interest. It also taught me why the French don't like us English very much.
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