* Henry V is regarded as the great English hero. Lionised in his own day for his victory at Agincourt, his pietyand 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 this groundbreaking and ambitious book, Ian Mortimer portrays Henry in the pivotal year of his reign. Recording the dramatic events of 1415 on a day-by-day basis, he offers the fullest, most precise and least romanticised view we have of Henry and what he did. In addition, the king's story is told against the background of other important developments in Europe, in particular the struggle for power within the Catholic Church and official attempts to eradicate any deviant religious beliefs. In so doing the reader encounters unexpected and eye-opening explanations for why Henry tried to unify the kingdoms of England and France - and why he was prepared to burn men alive as heretics.
* 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. While Henry retains the essential qualities of his greatness, his legend is stripped of its Shakespearean rhetoric and compassion. 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.
* 1415 was a year of religious persecution, personal suffering and one horrendous battle. This is the story of that year, as seen over the shoulder of its most cold-hearted, most ambitious and most celebrated hero.
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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 medievals England's most iconic king - Sunday Times
Mortimer is a good historian, and his account of Henry V and of Agincourt is well worth having - Literary Review
Bold...new and unexpected - The Economist
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 - Daily Telegraph
Mortimer writes biographical history with formidable energy and panache... His method is an enthralling experiment in time-travel: this book takes the year of Agincourt a day at a time, building an in-depth picture of how those who lived through it experienced events. At times it reads like a novel, at times it offers subtly nuanced back story. This is the most illuminating exploration of the reality of 15th-century life that I have ever read.
Ian Mortimer has BA and PhD degrees in history from Exeter University and an MA in archive studies from University College London. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1998, and was awarded the Alexander Prize (2004) by the Royal Historical Society for his work on the social history of medicine. He is the author of three medieval biographies, The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer (2003),The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III (2006), and The Fears of Henry IV: The Life of England's Self-Made King (2007) as well as the bestselling The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England (2008). He lives with his wife and three children on the edge of Dartmoor.