AZINCOURT BERNARD CORNWELL PDF

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. 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' Telegraph.

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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.

Mischievously, Cornwell puts him in the company of Sir John Cornewaille, another real-life Agincourt hero, though not, Cornwell is at pains to point out, an ancestor of his. Hook is an archetypal Cornwell hero, a brave, blunt, plain-speaking man, without airs of any kind. He has to ask who Geoffrey Chaucer was and, when told he was a poet, retorts: 'Oh, I thought he might be someone useful.

But he is also, like Shakespeare's Henry, conspicuous for his piety, praying zealously to Saints Crispin and Crispinian, whom he regards as his guardian angels. In an action-packed story, he kills a man, is outlawed, and rescues a novice French nun from being raped - and that is before the English army has even captured Harfleur. After that, the narrative proceeds on broadly predictable lines, climaxing at Agincourt, where Hook and his fellow archers - their skills with a longbow captured with peerless skill - help overturn seemingly insuperable odds.

This is no sentimentalised English victory away from home. It was like the Christmas football game when the men of two villages met to punch and trip and kick, only this game was played with lead, iron and steel.

But, perhaps inevitably, it leaves a residue of slight disappointment. It is the work of an English yeoman, whereas Henry V was the work of a world-celebrated genius. One misses the word-music, the hairs-rising-on-the-back-of-the-neck excitement of the St Crispin's Day speech. 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 and which, only this week, led some French academics to accuse Henry's soldiers of war crimes.

A famous 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.

After that, the narrative proceeds on broadly predictable lines, climaxing at Agincourt, where Hook and his fellow archers - their abilities with a longbow captured with peerless skill - help overturn seemingly insuperable odds. Love puzzles? Get the best at Telegraph Puzzles. A collection of the best contributions and reports from the Telegraph focussing on the key events, decisions and moments in Churchill's life.

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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. Mischievously, Cornwell puts him in the company of Sir John Cornewaille, another real-life Agincourt hero, though not, Cornwell is at pains to point out, an ancestor of his. Hook is an archetypal Cornwell hero, a brave, blunt, plain-speaking man, without airs of any kind.

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