Agincourt Hardcover – Jan 20 2009
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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’
‘An extrordinary and dramatic description of the legendary battle of Agincourt from the number one historical novelist’
‘a vivid, breathtaking and meticulously well research account’
Paisley Daily Express
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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
"The greatest writer of historical adventures today" (Washington Post) tackles his richest, most thrilling subject yet—the heroic tale of Agincourt.
Young Nicholas Hook is dogged by a cursed past—haunted by what he has failed to do and banished for what he has done. A wanted man in England, he is driven to fight as a mercenary archer in France, where he finds two things he can love: his instincts as a fighting man, and a girl in trouble. Together they survive the notorious massacre at Soissons, an event that shocks all Christendom. With no options left, Hook heads home to England, where his capture means certain death. Instead he is discovered by the young King of England—Henry V himself—and by royal command he takes up the longbow again and dons the cross of Saint George. Hook returns to France as part of the superb army Henry leads in his quest to claim the French crown. But after the English campaign suffers devastating early losses, it becomes clear that Hook and his fellow archers are their king's last resort in a desperate fight against an enemy more daunting than they could ever have imagined.
One of the most dramatic victories in British history, the battle of Agincourt—immortalized by Shakespeare in Henry V—pitted undermanned and overwhelmed English forces against a French army determined to keep their crown out of Henry's hands. Here Bernard Cornwell resurrects the legend of the battle and the "band of brothers" who fought it on October 25, 1415. An epic of redemption, Agincourt follows a commoner, a king, and a nation's entire army on an improbable mission to test the will of God and reclaim what is rightfully theirs. From the disasters at the siege of Harfleur to the horrors of the field of Agincourt, this exhilarating story of survival and slaughter is at once a brilliant work of history and a triumph of imagination—Bernard Cornwell at his best.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
By now his tricks are becoming a little thread-bare as old tropes are repeated. In a Cornwell novel there will always be a dark hero who does not fit into the polite society of his time: too rough and brutish for the gentlemen but devilishly attractive to the ladies. There will always be a wicked priest though Cornwell often balances this character with the addition of a more amiable clergyman who doesn't take his religion very seriously. There is always a maiden to be saved from the clutches of rapists and murderers. Powerful enemies will drive the hero into flight to clear his name or a quest. There will be battles, described with the utmost attention to the gore produced. And so it is with the latest addition to the voluminous Cornwell canon: "Azincourt" based around the 1415 battle of the Hundred Years' War.
Readers of Cornwell will recognize RIchard Sharpe or Thomas of Hookton or Uhtred of Bebbanburg in Nicholas Hook, the archer hero of "Azincourt". They will see Obadiah Hakeswill in Sir Martin and Guy Vexille in the Sire de Lanferelle. Cornwell has been here before and it shows. If you want a lengthy description of a medieval battle with little attention wasted on character or plot, this is the book for you.
Bernard Cornwell produces another of his polished stories. Despite the formulaic nature of his work, noted above, it nonetheless remains effective. Yes, some of the characters are stock. Yes, hunger, wounds, and disease are the same in the fifteenth century as the nineteenth, and are the main enemies of the soldier. Yes, soldiers are soldiers in every century. But these are truths, and don't diminish Cornwell's ability to tell a gripping story. Perfect reading on a plane, at the cottage, or at the doctor's office.
This book also makes think of theology. What I mean is that the historical portrait of a religious society of the olden days depicted the extensive use of God’s name in vain. The commandments state ‘Thou shall not use the Lord’s name in vain.’ There are those who would think that means not to say goddam or similar, but I think that it means not to use God’s name to self justify one’s actions. So you have two warring enemies claiming that ‘God is on our side’ and will prove it by killing the other. That is really just sin and I think that God really, really does not want people killing each other in his name. Do I think that the author did a fare presentation of historical Christianity? He did show good and evil priests equally and I wish that no one ever did evil in God’s name.
The story itself flows and there is a little suspense as one reads wondering what will happened to Hook and his girl. I learned about the famous battle and I might read one of the suggested history books. I think that Shakespeare did a better job with King Henry’s famous Band of Brothers speech than Cornwell did, but, that being said, it was interesting none the less. At the end of the day it is an entertaining read, but it makes you think.
The romantic storyline is secondary to me, but it presents the protagonist with moral questions and adds a glimpse into the other side's sufferings at his countrymen's hands.
Azincourt is my favourite Cornwall novel.
Shakespeare fans will enjoy a very light read which adds more actual history to the story of King Harry and the battle of Agincourt.
Most recent customer reviews
fast paced and well written. great historical detail and engaging plot turns.. the characters are interesting and fully developed. very enjoyable.Published 1 month ago by Brett Carr
As usual concerning a book written by Bernard Cornwell, it draws the reader into history in a most pleasant manner. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Serious Reader
Except for The Fort, I haven't read a Bernard Cornwell book I didn't like.Published 22 months ago by John Desmier
Excellent historical fiction. Interesting the factual background on an American folk hero.Published on July 18 2014 by Robert J. Thompson
Another winner for Bernard Cornwell. He transports you right back to these Medieval times with in depth detail of not only the battle but the way people thought in those times,... Read morePublished on Jan. 30 2014 by Lewispat