More than just a single-minded warrior-king, Henry V comes to life in this fresh account as a gifted ruler acutely conscious of spiritual matters and his subjects' welfare
Shakespeare's centuries-old portrayal of Henry V established the king's reputation as a warmongering monarch, a perception that has persisted ever since. But in this exciting, thoroughly researched volume a different view of Henry emerges: a multidimensional ruler of great piety, a hands-on governor who introduced a radically new conception of England's European role in secular and ecclesiastical affairs, a composer of music, an art patron, and a dutiful king who fully appreciated his obligations toward those he ruled.
Historian Malcolm Vale draws on extensive primary archival evidence that includes many documents annotated or endorsed in Henry's own hand. Focusing on a series of themes-the interaction between king and church, the rise of the English language as a medium of government and politics, the role of ceremony in Henry's kingship, and more-Vale revises understandings of Henry V and his conduct of the everyday affairs of England, Normandy, and the kingdom of France.
Malcolm Vale is emeritus research fellow in history, St. John's College, Oxford. He has written extensively on Anglo-French history and the cultural history of northern Europe during the Later Middle Ages. He lives in Oxford, UK.