Top critical review
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Getting there is half the fun
on 23 December 2012
I bought this book on a whim - I knew nothing of Agincourt beyond the name. Now I know where the battle took place and when, why it took place and how it was fought who was involved (and who was not involved). However the book covers the battle itself in only a few pages towards the end of the book. Subtitled: The King, The Campaign, The Battle. This book tells you more than just the events of the famous battle of Agincourt. It introduces you to King Henry V and tells of the uncertainties of the time in his early battles against his renegade Dukes and constant watchfulness on the Scots.
Most of the book is about the preparation and funding and includes some fascinating details on the following topics:
Henry V was a great King, and a very religious man who believed he had God on his side and was fighting a Just War.
War was made a national pass time with everyone training in the long bow and the nation always fighting the French, Scots or Welsh rebels.
Chivalry. This enabled Henry to take someone prisoner and release them to find their ransom (if he chose) or to keep them prisoner without ransom if it better sought his purposes.
The role of heralds of both sides on the battle fields as reporters of who did what.
The ordinances or rules of invasion by which Henry controlled the behaviour of his soldiers and for which the English were reknowned (morality of war).
Despite covering fascinating topics in detail I found the book overlong and as another reviewer has pointed out - A good few paragraphs get bogged down with number crunching ... throughout the whole book. History buffs may well give if 5 stars for such meticulous detail, but this doesn't suit the casual reader like myself. Mind you those topics I found interesting I found very interesting and am likely to investigate further. Just remember this book is about more than the battle of Agincourt alone.