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Warrior King: The Life of Henry V Paperback – 30 Apr 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; 07 edition (30 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752423363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752423364
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,219,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Keith Dockray was formerly Senior Lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern History at the University of Huddersfield. His other books include William Shakespeare, the Wars of the Roses & the Historians (also published by Tempus) and Richard III. He lives in Bristol.

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Format: Paperback
Dockray's book on Henry V was a very good overlook of the king and his reign. It was not a 'Life of Henry V" because it was not a biography of Henry.

Take the part of the book that claims that Henry had interest in making new laws for his country. Taking a closer look into those laws, both economic and poltical, you can see that they were made for Henry's security during his war in France. The economic reforms were made so he could execute a more finacially successful war with a kingdom much larger and richer than his own. However, he did begin to use the laws in a postitive after the Agincourt Campaign, so in the end they were good laws

Another example from the text is that in 1421, having returned to England after an absence of almost four years, Henry, in the Paraliment of February that year, Henry asked the MPs to vote money for an army to lead into France to keep fighting his war against the Dauphin in after the signing of the Treaty of Troyes in May 1420. The MPs returned with a startling answer. This war was fought in the name of France, not England, so the would not finance any major expedition. It startled Henry, but he let Parliament off the hook, and in the end they did help him, because he went back to France ith 4,000 troops

Dockray's book on Henry was a very good account of the king's life. It was critical of Henry to some extent, but it also balanced him out unlike Shakespeare who mad him into a godlike hero. Henry was just a man, not a god, and Dockray sshows us that . Well worth 4 stars.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8e563f30) out of 5 stars 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8dfacfd8) out of 5 stars Henry V from the Sources -- Compilation of Viewpoints & Treatment 16 Dec. 2008
By David M. Dougherty - Published on
Format: Paperback
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.
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