The master of historical fiction has done it yet again. With "Agincourt", Bernard Cornwell takes the reader on an epic journey, following Nicholas Hook, a lowly English archer on a journey that starts in an otherwise quiet farming village in 15th century England and culminates in one of the most famous battles in history.
But before he can become one of Shakespeare's "Happy Few", Nick must overcome the schemes of duplicitous traitors, self serving priests and conniving neighbors on his way to a date with destiny.
As his readers have come to expect, Cornwell doesn't skimp on detail or historical accuracy, painting a rich picture of medieval life as a common soldier - the harsh training, foul living conditions, scant food and constant risk of death or disease in an age with only the most rudimentary grasp of medicine.
In the books' climactic final chapter, Cornwell describes the battle of Agincourt with the accuracy of a historian and the verve of a skilled writer. Medieval combat is described in all its' blood soaked detail, stripping away any romantic misconceptions the reader might have about the age of armor, battle axes and broadswords.
Bernard Cornwell was born in England in 1944, and adopted by a couple belonging to a religious sect known as the Peculiar People. After a brief spell as a teacher, he joined the British Broadcasting Corporation as a researcher for the popular news program "Nationwide". Denied a green card on entering the Unites States with his American wife, he took up writing, which required no permit, and began his career with the Sharpe series.
“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.
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