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Agincourt (2008)

by Bernard Cornwell

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2,101895,648 (3.84)103
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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Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
K. re Archer. pub 2010; read sometime
  18cran | Jun 4, 2021 |
After reading all these books, it can be nice to have an audio version, although these versions never are in my field of focus, and make me very wary. Not every audiobook is good or as good as the written version.

But since I like Bernard Cornwell's work, and very much liked [b:Azincourt|6499535|Azincourt|Bernard Cornwell|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1245520327s/6499535.jpg|3312295] (see my little review here), I wondered how the audio version would make the story more vivid.

Sadly, as much as Trevor White did his best, he couldn't make it as exciting as, say, [a:Edmund Dehn|2420854|Edmund Dehn|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-d9f6a4a5badfda0f69e70cc94d962125.png]'s recordings of the cassette version of Cornwell's "The Arthur Books / The Warlord Chronicles". Edmund has the talent of using multiple voices, intonation, emotion, and so on. Trevor's voice is rather monotonous, he doesn't adapt his voice to impersonate a different character in the story. Well, he does a little, but he's just not the right narrator, in my humble opinion, for Cornwell's stories.

Unless you have no other choice (for whatever reason) or are an avid fan of audiobooks, I would advise you to read (!) the book and put your own imagination to work with regards to the characters and events. ( )
  TechThing | Jan 22, 2021 |
My first BC book and a great change out of the world of Fantasy, for example. This book sort of activated an interest in historical fiction, though still at a very low level. It's great to read about one of the battles of the 100-year war and thus learn while reading a fascinating story. It's easy to connect with the main character (Nick Hook) and the feelings he has for a French girl, for his brother.. how he's determined to succeed, how he fights mental battles with his arch enemies (Perill brothers). Also interesting to read how the battle was fought, how hard it was to capture Harfleur and not admit it was a small victory (when more was expected), how life back then was far from pleasant. But foremost how both forces (English vs French) fought and how the first played it tactically quite brilliant. At least in this book. And last, how corrupt the church was (save for some priests) and how this continues today. Heavily recommended for fans of historical fiction and those wanting to learn more about this part of the 100 years war. ( )
  TechThing | Jan 22, 2021 |
entertaining in places, but far too much repetition in the fight scenes. almost every arrow launched is described as well as every sword cut parry etc. ( )
  Fence | Jan 5, 2021 |
I'm a fan of well researched, historical fiction and Cornwell once again does a good job and yet makes for an entertaining yarn. Enjoyable read. Enough of a story to keep it from reading like a mere repetition of event A happened on date B. ( )
  feralcatbob | Dec 22, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 85 (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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