By Juliet Barker

ISBN-10: 0674064755

ISBN-13: 9780674064751

For thirty dramatic years, England governed a superb swath of France on the element of the sword—an all-but-forgotten episode within the Hundred Years’ conflict that Juliet Barker brings to shiny lifestyles in Conquest.

Following Agincourt, Henry V’s moment invasion of France in 1417 introduced a crusade that will position the crown of France on an English head. Buoyed via conquest, the English military appeared invincible. by the point of Henry’s untimely loss of life in 1422, the vast majority of northern France lay in his fingers and the Valois inheritor to the throne were disinherited. simply the looks of a visionary peasant woman who claimed divine tips, Joan of Arc, used to be in a position to halt the English improve, yet now not for lengthy. simply six months after her dying, Henry’s younger son was once topped in Paris because the first—and last—English king of France.

Henry VI’s country persevered for two decades, but if he got here of age he was once no longer the chief his father have been. The dauphin whom Joan had topped Charles VII may ultimately force the English out of France. Barker recounts those stirring events—the epic battles and sieges, plots and betrayals—through a kaleidoscope of characters from John Talbot, the “English Achilles,” and John, duke of Bedford, regent of France, to brutal mercenaries, opportunistic freebooters, imaginitive spies, and fans torn aside via the clash.

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3 Henry himself took up residence in his ancestor’s castle and, in a pointed gesture, turned the building where the townsmen used to hold their official meetings into a munitions store. 4 With an acquiescent French population and a growing English presence, Henry could afford to leave Caen, his conquest of the town complete. He now had to decide where to strike next. At this point the diplomatic agreements he had made before his campaign proved their worth. The dukes of Burgundy and Brittany had each held a separate face-to-face meeting with Henry.

While the soldiers seized the major seats of government and arrested prominent Armagnacs, the mob went on the rampage, pillaging the houses of Armagnac sympathisers whom they dragged from their beds, and murdered without compunction in the street. Their bodies, plundered of everything except their underclothes, were heaped up in piles in the mud ‘like sides of bacon’. A few days later the volatile mob was unleashed again. Perhaps deliberately inflamed by calls for vengeance on the deposed Armagnac leaders, they stormed the city jails and massacred the prisoners indiscriminately, leaving their corpses naked and their faces mutilated beyond recognition.

Many more had been killed in the battle. The dauphin, Louis de Guienne, an ardent supporter of the Armagnac cause, ought to have been a rallying point in place of his insane father, but he too died, in December 1415. His brother, the next heir to the throne, seventeen-year-old Jean de Touraine, was living in Hainault, where he had been brought up in the court of the duke of Burgundy’s sister and had married her daughter. Yet the Armagnac cause was not completely lost. They still had Paris, the seat of government.

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Conquest : the English kingdom of France, 1417-1450 by Juliet Barker


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