An epic account of King Henry V and the legendary Battle of Agincourt, from the author of the bestselling Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England.
Henry V is regarded as the great English hero. Lionised in his own day for his victory at Agincourt, his piety and his rigorous application of justice, he was elevated by Shakespeare into a champion of English nationalism for all future generations. But what was he really like? Does he deserve to be thought of as 'the greatest man who ever ruled England?'
In Ian Mortimer's groundbreaking book, he portrays Henry in the pivotal year of his reign. Recording the dramatic events of 1415, he offers the fullest, most precise and least romanticised view we have of Henry and what he did.
The result is not only a fascinating reappraisal of Henry; it brings to the fore many unpalatable truths which biographers and military historians have largely ignored. At the centre of the book is the campaign which culminated in the battle of Agincourt: a slaughter ground designed not to advance England's interests directly but to demonstrate God's approval of Henry's royal authority on both sides of the Channel.
“Ian Mortimer's 1415: Henry V's Year of Glory is compelling, exuberant and erudite - combining the vivid drama of medieval character and battle with the vigour of revisionist history”
Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Young Stalin
“Mortimer creates a new and convincing likeness of medieval England's most iconic king”
Nick Rennison, Sunday Times
“Mortimer writes biographical history with formidable energy and panache... This is the most illuminating exploration of the reality of fifteenth-century life that I have ever read”
“Ian Mortimer... has virtually single-handedly put medieval history back in the hands of ordinary readers, combining scrupulous research with a wonderfully iconoclastic approach to storytelling”
Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Telegraph
“Bold...new and unexpected”
Anne Wroe, The Economist
Nicolas Vincent, The Tablet
“Ian Mortimer's decision to tell this story in diary format, giving us an almost day-by-day account, would not have suited every historical study, but in this instance was a stroke of genius. The danger would have been excess of extraneous detail, but Mortimer's instinct is superb and what we get instead is the mythical hero-king- immortalised by the Lawrence Olivier film- rendered suddenly human and close. / The immediacy of the format makes Henry real and flawed; a disturbing and compelling individual.”
Lesley McDowell, Independent of Sunday
“Mortimer creates a convincing new likeness”
Nick Rennison, Sunday Times
“a three dimensional portrait”
“immerses the reader in the heady drama and the dull routine of a 15th century king's life”
Ian Pindar, Guardian