Agincourt: Great Battles

Agincourt: Great Battles

By: Prof. Anne Curry (author)Hardback

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Description

Agincourt (1415) is an exceptionally famous battle, one that has generated a huge and enduring cultural legacy in the six hundred years since it was fought. Everybody thinks they know what the battle was about. Even John Lennon, aged 12, wrote a poem and drew a picture headed 'Agincourt'. But why and how has Agincourt come to mean so much, to so many? Why do so many people claim their ancestors served at the battle? Is the Agincourt of popular image the real Agincourt, or is our idea of the battle simply taken from Shakespeare's famous depiction of it? Written by the world's leading expert on the battle, this book shows just why it has occupied such a key place in English identity and history in the six centuries since it was fought, exploring a cultural legacy that stretches from bowmen to Beatles, via Shakespeare, Dickens, and the First World War. Anne Curry first sets the scene, illuminating how and why the battle was fought, as well as its significance in the wider history of the Hundred Years War. She then takes the Agincourt story through the centuries from 1415 to 2015, from the immediate, and sometimes surprising, responses to it on both sides of the Channel, through its reinvention by Shakespeare in King Henry V (1599), and the enduring influence of both the play and the film versions of it, especially the patriotic Laurence Olivier version of 1944, at the time of the D-Day landings in Normandy. But the legacy of Agincourt does not begin and end with Shakespeare's play: from the eighteenth century onwards, on both sides of the Channel and in both the English and French speaking worlds the battle was used as an explanation of national identity, giving rise to jingoistic works in print and music. It was at this time that it became fashionable for the gentry to identify themselves with the victory, and in the Victorian period the Agincourt archer came to be emphasized as the epitome of 'English freedom'. Indeed, even today, historians continue to 'refight' the battle - an academic contest which has intensified over recent years, in the run-up to the sixth hundredth anniversary year of 2015.

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About Author

Anne Curry is Professor of Medieval History and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Southampton, after teaching for many years at the University of Reading. She has published many books and articles on the Hundred Years War, as well as definitive works on Agincourt itself and an on-line database of all known soldiers between 1369 and 1453 (www.medievalsoldier.org ). An historical advisor to the battlefield centres at Azincourt, Shrewsbury, and Bosworth, she is co-chair of the 'Agincourt 600' committee, tasked with organizing the commemorations of the sixth hundredth anniversary of the battle. President of the Historical Association between 2008 and 2011, she is also a former Vice-President of the Royal Historical Society.

Contents

Introduction ; 1. Agincourt: the Battle in Context ; 2. 'The Noble Beginning' or 'The Accursed Day'. Early Interpretations ; 3. 'Alarms and Excursions'. The Enduring Influence of Shakespeare's Agincourt ; 4. 'France's Bane and England's Glory!' Agincourt, War and National Identity ; 5. 'Agincourt PLC'. Traditions, Myths and Creations ; 6. 'Rival Experts Prepare To Do Battle over Agincourt' ; Conclusion ; Further Reading ; Notes ; Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 27/08/2015
  • ISBN13: 9780199681013
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 272
  • ID: 9780199681013
  • weight: 458
  • ISBN10: 0199681015

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