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Agincourt: My Family, the Battle and the Fight for France (Anglais) Relié – 25 septembre 2014
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
Présentation de l'éditeur
600 years after the Battle of Agincourt, Sir Ranulph Fiennes casts new light on this epic event that has resonated throughout British and French history.
On 25th October 1415, on a French hillside near the village of Agincourt, four men sheltered from the rain and prepared for battle. All four were English knights, ancestors of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and part of the army of England's King Henry V. Across the valley, four sons of the French arm of the Fiennes family were confident that the Dauphin's army would win the day...
Ranulph Fiennes explains how his own ancestors were key players through the centuries of turbulent Anglo-French history that led up to Agincourt, and he uses his experience as expedition leader and soldier to give us a fresh perspective on one of the bloodiest periods of medieval history.
With fascinating detail on the battle plans, weaponry and human drama of Agincourt, this is a gripping evocation of a historical event integral to English identity.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
There are some howlers. Calais is not in Normandy (pp. 183, 285). England and France were not the two greatest military powers in the world: their armies would have been dwarfed by those fielded by the Chinese or even the Turks (p. 200). A pyx was not a religious ornament: it was a utensil (p. 184). On page 188 Fiennes refers to the difficulty of marching in armour while suffering from diarrhoea – something he almost claims to have done; but he has already told us that most of those on the ‘march’ from Harfleur to Azincourt rode on horseback; and if they did march, how likely is it that they marched in full armour?
One cannot have much confidence that the author has properly researched his main subject (the expedition of 1415), because his reading list is both thin and odd. There are none here by Anne Curry, or Nicolas, or Wylie, or even Colonel Burne, but no less than three by Ian Mortimer, of which only one is about Agincourt. Fiennes does not include primary sources of any kind, though in the body of the text he occasionally quotes from chronicles. The research on the Fiennes family, English and French, could have provided interesting new material, since it is based on a private archive of some kind; but there are no footnotes or endnotes and we have no way of knowing what is in that archive, or how reliable the information is.
In the first few chapters we are given a potted history of England between 1066 and 1415 which is rather like reading Sellars and Yeatman’s ‘1066 and All That’, without the humour. I am not sure why all these chapters are included, except to tell us about the Fiennes’ part in just about every important event, or non-event: one of the ancestors apparently advised William the Conqueror not to proceed with the Conquest of England. When we eventually get to Henry V we are given an entirely conventional portrait, and the author seems to be blissfully ignorant of the many controversies surrounding both Henry and the battle. If you want to know more, a few pages by Anne Curry are worth hundreds by Fiennes.
In the end, the constant references to members of his family, always emphasized by Italics, is tiresome, to anyone who isn’t called Fiennes. I was reminded of my late aunt, who seemed to think that if a person wasn’t called Cooper, they didn’t really count for much in this world; but of course the difference is that the Fienneses are, and evidently always have been, famous. Their family tree begins with Charles Martel and includes the Emperor Charlemagne, Pepin the Short and Charles the Bald. I am only surprised that Ranulph didn’t begin it with Noah, or even Adam, as the more vainglorious of Tudor genealogists used to do.