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Conquest: The English Kingdom of France, 1417-1450by Juliet Barker
Synopses & Reviews
For thirty dramatic years, England ruled a great swath of France at the point of the sword--an all-but-forgotten episode in the Hundred Years' War that Juliet Barker brings to vivid life in Conquest.
Following Agincourt, Henry V's second invasion of France in 1417 launched a campaign that would place the crown of France on an English head. Buoyed by conquest, the English army seemed invincible. By the time of Henry's premature death in 1422, nearly all of northern France lay in his hands and the Valois heir to the throne had been disinherited. Only the appearance of a visionary peasant girl who claimed divine guidance, Joan of Arc, was able to halt the English advance, but not for long. Just six months after her death, Henry's young son was crowned in Paris as the first--and last--English king of France.
Henry VI's kingdom endured for twenty years, but when he came of age he was not the leader his father had been. The dauphin whom Joan had crowned Charles VII would finally drive the English out of France. Barker recounts these 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, resourceful spies, and lovers torn apart by the conflict.
"England's little-studied conquest of France during the Hundred Years War is absorbingly recounted by Barker. In 1417, Henry V invaded France to annex Normandy, which he believed to be his rightful inheritance. The fallout of this invasion played out over the next 30 years, as Henry conquered Normandy, and France's weak, fitfully mad Charles VI conceded in giving his daughter Katherine to wed Henry, who became regent of France. The next few years saw the deaths of both Henry and Charles, England's attempt to extend its rule beyond Normandy, and, in 1424, the rise of a peasant girl named Jehanne d'Arc, who led a group of disaffected French against the English at OrlÃ©ans and crowned Charles VII king of France. Although Henry V's son, Henry VI, again tried marriage — to Margaret of Anjou — to protect his French kingdom, he actually gave up lands, strengthening the hand of Charles VII, who in just 12 months swept the English away. With her crisp storytelling and meticulous historical research, Barker (Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle That Made England) vividly narrates a tale of political intrigue and military strategy that reveals power-hungry English kings and the fierce defense of France by one of its most famous heroines. 3 maps. Agent: Andrew Lownie, Andrew Lownie Literary Agency (U.K.)." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Barker tells the dramatic story of the thirty years when England ruled France at the point of a sword. Henry V's second invasion of France in 1417 launched a campaign that would place the crown of France on an English head. The appearance of a visionary peasant girl, Joan of Arc, was able to halt the English advance, but not for long.
About the Author
Juliet Barker is one of Britain's most distinguished literary biographers and medievalists and author of Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle That Made England.
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History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History