The Hundred Years War

The Hundred Years War

The Hundred Years War

The Hundred Years War

Synopsis

The Hundred Years War was the longest war in European history, a quarrel between two cousins resulting in decades of violence in the battle for the French throne. It was a war which wrought great change in two medieval societies, ushering in the Renaissance and having repurcussions down to the present day.

Excerpt

For every author, whatever his or her chosen subject area, every book begins with an idea. This idea can manifest itself in various ways but for historians it is probably-or arguably-fair to say that the motivation is either a desire to explain an old story in a new way, or to dispute previous claims made by other historians, or to update a standard work on the basis of fresh research…or a dozen other reasons, including simple curiosity.

In my case, the idea of writing a book on the War came to me in stages, ranging from watching Olivier's splendid film version of Henry V sometime in the 1940's, finding scenes from the text missing from the film when I saw the play in the 1950's and the later discovery, sometime in the 1960's, that the French version of the War varied considerably from the English version and mentioned battles and victories of which I had never heard. Then came numerous visits to the battlefields of Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt and the dawning fact that, clearly, there were aspects of the battles, and the campaigns leading up to the battles, that needed further explanation and exploration before I could fully understand them.

There was also the matter of context, the fact that the Wars-and I follow Colonel Burne's theory that there were at least two 'Wars' between 1337 and 1453, each with their separate motivations-have to be seen in the context of their times. And so the interest grew until it seemed that the only way I could get the topic out of my mind was to write a book about it, one which aimed to fill in the gaps and stitch the

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