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Agincourt (2008)

by Bernard Cornwell

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2,294945,882 (3.84)116
A fugitive English forester and mercenary defender saves young novitiate Melisande and, defending himself from a vengeance-seeking rapist priest and Melisande's father, finds himself slogging his way to Agincourt as an archer in King Henry V's army.
  1. 60
    Henry V by William Shakespeare (Shuffy2)
    Shuffy2: Henry the V is a classic and its connection to Agincourt is important
  2. 40
    The Face of Battle by John Keegan (viking2917)
    viking2917: An excellent historical companion to this novel
  3. 20
    The Fort: A Novel of the Revolutionary War by Bernard Cornwell (ANeumann)
  4. 00
    Night Soldiers by Alan Furst (ANeumann)
    ANeumann: Another example of a great piece of historical fiction.
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» See also 116 mentions

English (90)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Czech (1)  All languages (94)
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
I've read some of the Last Kingdom series, and I'm about to start Mr. Cornwall's Arthur series, so I'm familiar with his books. Agincourt has always been a fascinating battle to read about, so this book is right up my alley. Sir John Cornewaille, leader of Nick Hook's group of archers and men-at-arms, is in my family tree, and there are other historical figures brought to life here in the author's inimitable prose. The main characters, Nick and his wife are not historical, but they always felt true to the times they lived in.
Agincourt has always had an aura around the battle in a way that others like Poitiers and Crecy do not. The book starts with the sack of Soissons, which made a nice bookend with Agincourt. Soissons is the home of Sts. Crispin and Crispian, and their saint day is the day the battle of Agincourt happened. It makes for a fascinating read with many details about archery and the battles themselves. This may not make it a book for everyone, but I love stories like this, and I'd highly recommend it for others who like history. ( )
  N.W.Moors | Dec 12, 2022 |
Loved this book. It deals with a period of history that fascinates me, and surely any other red blooded Englishman? The victory of victories against the old enemy. A triumph against all the odds.
The book has a simple and easily followed plot. It's storytelling at it's best. The brutality of war is there for all to read about, but so is the heroism, sacrifice, chivalry and honour. One of my favourite novels by this author. ( )
  MJWebb | Sep 22, 2022 |
Good historical novel. Battles are accurate. Would have preferred more character developement ( )
  Sunandsand | Apr 30, 2022 |
All the highlights of a Cornwell historical novel without committing to 10 more books to read in a series. ( )
  A.Godhelm | Mar 14, 2022 |

As a small child I remember reading "There's a monster at the end of the book." Even though I was cookie monster fan, I loved that book. It was small, cute and easily re-readable. Agincourt is just a monster book. It's huge, gory, and I will not read it again.

Don't get me wrong. I love lots of parts of this book. The book follows Nick Hook, a tremendous long bowman and how he joined the legendary battle of Agincourt. Bernard Cornwell does an exemplary job of describing bows, arrows, armor and bloody death.

But unlike "There's a monster at the end of the book" toward the end, I just wanted to reach the end. Bernard gave a great introduction to Hook. But I'm also glad to say good bye.

( )
  wellington299 | Feb 19, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
Agincourt is yet another cracking read from Bernard Cornwell, full of action and interest. It treats the kind of history which can be seen with precision and flair, but many people will find it has ignored the kind of history which counts, offering an exciting book of historical events instead of a truly historical novel.

 
In fact, Cornwell's historical accuracy is excellent throughout, and he gracefully acknowledges his sources in an interesting "Historical Note" at the end. Agincourt isn't a glorious battle; you see every mud-clogged, blood-soaked inch of the field and smell the sweat and excrement of the archers, knights and foot soldiers who fought for those hard-won inches. But when the fighting's over, you're left with a sense of awe at what was done there, and admiration for the men who did it.
 

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Epigraph
'Agincourt is one of the most instantly and vividly visualising of all epic passages in English history... It is a victory of the weak over the strong, of the common soldier over the mounted knight, of resolution over bombast... It is also a story of slaughter-yard behaviour and of outright atrocity.'
- Sir John Keegan, The Face of Battle.

'... there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcasses; and there is none end of their corpes: they stumble upon their corpses.'
- Nahum 3.3
Dedication
Agincourt is for my granddaughter, Esme Cornwell, with love.
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On a winter's day in 1413, just before Christmas, Nicholas Hook decided to commit murder.
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A fugitive English forester and mercenary defender saves young novitiate Melisande and, defending himself from a vengeance-seeking rapist priest and Melisande's father, finds himself slogging his way to Agincourt as an archer in King Henry V's army.

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