An extraordinary and dramatic depiction of the legendary battle of Agincourt from the number one historical novelist. Azincourt, fought on October 25th , St Crispin's Day, is one of England's best-known battles, in part through the brilliant depiction of it in Shakespeare's Henry V, in part because it was a brilliant and unexpected English victory and in part because it was the first battle won by the use of the longbow - a weapon developed by the English which enabled them to dominate the European battlefields for the rest of the century. Bernard Cornwell's Azincourt is a vivid, breathtaking and meticulously well-researched account of this momentous battle and its aftermath. From the varying viewpoints of nobles, peasants, archers, and horsemen, Azincourt skilfully brings to life the hours of relentless fighting, the desperation of an army crippled by disease and the exceptional bravery of the English soldiers. No other historical novelist has acquired such a mastery of the minutiae of warfare in centuries past.
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Agincourt is one of the epic battles of history. It was fought by two badly matched armies that met in atrocious conditions on St Crispin's Day , and resulted in an extraordinary victory that was celebrated in England long before Shakespeare immortalised it in Henry V.
It has always been held to be the triumph of the longbow against the armoured knight, and of the comm Agincourt is one of the epic battles of history. It has always been held to be the triumph of the longbow against the armoured knight, and of the common man against the feudal aristocrat, but those are history's myths.
Bernard Cornwell, who has long wanted to write this story, depicts the reality behind the myths. Nicholas Hook is an English archer. He seems born to trouble and, when his lord orders him to London as part of a force sent to quell an expected Lollard uprising, Nick's headstrong behaviour leads to him being proscribed an outlaw. He finds refuge across the Channel, part of an English mercenary force protecting the town of Soissons against the French.
What happened at the Siege of Soissons shocked all Europe, and propels Nick back to England where he is enrolled in the archer companyof the doughty Sir John Cornwaille, a leader of Henry V's army. The army was superb, but sickness and the unexpected French defiance at Harfleur, reduce it to near-shambolic condition. Henry stubbornly refuses to accept defeat and, in appalling weather, leads his shrunken force to what appears to be inevitable disaster.
Azincourt culminates in the battle. Seen from several points of view on the English side, but also from the French ranks, the scene is vivid, convincing and compelling.
Bernard Cornwell has a great understanding of men at war and battlefields and this is his masterpiece. This is what it must have been like to fight at Agincourt. Get A Copy. Hardcover , First , pages. Published October 1st by HarperCollins Publishers.
More Details Original Title. Henry V of England. England , Soissons , France Azincourt , France. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Agincourt , please sign up. See 2 questions about Agincourt…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters.
Sort order. Start your review of Agincourt. May 17, Jason Koivu rated it it was ok Recommends it for: super hardcore Cornwell fans and those interested in Henry V. Shelves: historical-fiction. Bernard Cornwell, that bastard, has written a goddamn straightforward story about the bastardly Battle of Agincourt just enjoyable enough to get me through to the goddamn end. The forced romantic storyline was as unnecessary as the goddamn gory battle details, but I understand that they are there for a goddamn reason.
However, overall it's just not goddamned engaging enough for me to give this goddamn bastard of a book more than two goddamn bastardly stars. Also, I am completely done with the wo Bernard Cornwell, that bastard, has written a goddamn straightforward story about the bastardly Battle of Agincourt just enjoyable enough to get me through to the goddamn end. Also, I am completely done with the words goddamn and bastard.
Reading "bad words" doesn't bother me, but overused words do, goddamn it! Oh well. It won't stop me from reading more and more of his awesome stuff! View all 41 comments. Ross Fullerton First goddamn book review which made me chuckle like a bastard, you amiable goddamn bastard. Jason Koivu Ross wrote: "First goddamn book review which made me chuckle like a bastard, you amiable goddamn bastard. May 29, AM. Bernard Cornwell is absolutely terrible at showing the softer side of war.
This book was filled with violent, gritty, visceral, dishonorable, disgusting, horrific acts of warfare It's apparent from Cornwell's writing that the man has done his homework. The battles spring to life just like the great yew longbows mentioned in the book. The siege and battle sequences were so well written that I could almost smell the blood, piss, and shit. However, it has been a ve Bernard Cornwell is absolutely terrible at showing the softer side of war.
However, it has been a very long time since I've cleaned my reading room, so maybe that had something to do with the aroma. I highly recommend this one for fans of historical fiction and medieval warfare.
PS-I need to see about ordering a halberd from eBay. View all 9 comments. The tale of the battle of Agincourt told through the eyes of an archer, Nicholas Hooks. Cornwell is a master of captured the drama of history from different perspective and making the story come alive. And in that, he's very successful here. It's clear he's done his research and knows his history. He knows the nuances of the period and ably weaves them into the story.
He does this by creating a character we can follow and genuinely care about. Nick is an archer in training who quickly becomes an o The tale of the battle of Agincourt told through the eyes of an archer, Nicholas Hooks. Nick is an archer in training who quickly becomes an outlaw. He strikes a priest, trying to do the right thing and is forced to flee England. He becomes a mercenary in France, but is forced to return home. There he comes under the sovreign of the king and is put back into the archer core to fight and take back the throne of France.
Along the way, he saves a nun from being raped and eventually takes her as his wife Cornwell points out that convents were used to "hide" women to prevent noble men from taking advantage of them and producing bastard offspring. The best parts of the story are the battles.
Cornwell excels in creating vivid, realistic and compelling battle sequences that will draw you in and keep the pages turning. Where the novel loses a bit of steam is during the moments in between where we have to set things up for the next battle. I can understand why they must be done and they do make the history of the period and events come more alive. But they just pale in comparison to the battle sequences.
Whether this is a fair criticism or not, I will leave to fellow readers to decide. View 1 comment. May 29, Alice Poon rated it liked it Shelves: historical-fiction.
This was my first Bernard Cornwell novel and I picked it up because I wanted to learn about the historical background of the Battle of Azincourt, one of the significant battles in the Hundred Years' War, and about Henry V of England. When I closed the book, I was a little disappointed at the dearth of historical details relating to the ultimate and proximate causes that led to the battle, and the character of Henry V still seemed somewhat blurry in my head. In the sweltering summer of , the E This was my first Bernard Cornwell novel and I picked it up because I wanted to learn about the historical background of the Battle of Azincourt, one of the significant battles in the Hundred Years' War, and about Henry V of England.
In the sweltering summer of , the English army, having crossed the channel, engaged in the siege of Harfleur in Normandy , which ended in a hard-won English victory. This prelude is followed by the English march north towards Calais English-occupied.
Then in the rainy and gloomy month of October, the English army had to face off with the far-outnumbering French army waiting in the muddy field of Azincourt in Picardy. The battle scenes are vividly drawn, with lots of gore, savagery, horror and obscenities and feces too.
Descriptions about armor, weapons and archery, in particular the usage of longbows, are expertly detailed.
Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell - review
David Robson listens to a plain-speaking archer tell the story of a battle that shocked Christendom. 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, which saw slaughter on a scale that shocked Christendom. A famous English victory was achieved, of course, by English archers, and Cornwell's hero, Nicholas Hook, takes his name from an archer listed on the muster rolls of Henry's army.
Agincourt Azincourt in French is one of the most famous battles ever fought; the victory of a small, despised, sick and hungry army over an enemy that massively outnumbered it. Azincourt, the novel coming soon, tells the story of that small army; how it embarked from England confident of victory, but was beaten down and horribly weakened by the stubborn French defence of Harfleur. By the end of that siege common-sense dictated that the army sail for home, but Henry V was stubbornly convinced that God was on his side and insisted on marching from Harfleur to Calais to prove that he could defy the great French army that was gathering to crush him. He believed he could evade that army, but the march, like the siege, went disastrously wrong and the English were trapped and so forced to fight against an enemy that outnumbered them six to one. Azincourt is the tale of Nicholas Hook, an archer, who begins the novel by joining the garrison of Soissons, a city whose patron saints were Crispin and Crispinian. What happened at Soissons shocked all Christendom, but in the following year, on the feast day of Crispin and Crispinian, Hook finds himself in that small army trapped at Azincourt.