Azincourt Hardcover – 1 Oct 2008
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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’
‘A runaway success’
'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’
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
'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.'
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
What made those three books so captivating was the reimagining of an enchanted legend and the placement of that legend into both a historical context and into an atmosphere which seemed convincingly realistic. Plus, of course, an unputdownable narrative momentum, a Cornwell trademark.
Given the greater amount of recorded historical detail available to Cornwell here, a reimagining is less necessary. So, the author focuses on putting the reader right into the heart of the action, the fears, smells, sounds, prejudices, superstitions, heroism and malevolence of an age in which we should all be glad we didn't live. With the exception of the obligatory malevolent monk (Sir Martin, who's complete lack of any single redeeming feature makes him somewhat cartoonish to my mind) all the characters are well fleshed out and their motivations and actions seem believable and authentic.
Finally, the spiritual part of the novel, Nicholas Hook's "relationship" with Saints Crispin and Crispinian, is beautifully handled and makes deft use of a historical coincidence I was unaware of. In fact, Christianity per se is handled very well in this story - given the historical setting, there's simply no avoiding it.Read more ›
It didn't feel like too much original research went into this. I felt it left more questions about the battle than answers.
For example, I'd always bought the idea of the French men at arms of lumbering and clumsy weighed down by armour (as does Cornwall) yet recently saw a demo on TV of someone demo'ing some armour from the period. He was amazingly agile in it - leaping about and running. (Now in a muddy field and in a squashed mash of bodies it might not have made any difference - but...) I also came across a longbow group (who play with the things at weekends) who have suggested that firing in groups would have been more effective and that the particular arrows used might well have accelerated as they fell - giving a longer `galling' range than previously thought etc etc
Other books Cornwall has written have felt more `definitive'
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This author does his research well, I really felt that I was there fighting the overwhelming number of French enemies that faced the English and Welsh at Agincourt. Read morePublished 10 days ago by jillhazeljill
This is a battle that I do not know much about and I admit, I only bought it as it was on sale and I have yet to find a book by BC that I don't like. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Jomeo
A great read, I had a job to put it down, and was disappointed when I had finished it.........Published 1 month ago by jack swift
quick delivery but too violent for me. Too many women and children raped and then killedPublished 1 month ago by AC