Hundred Years' War

Henry V is Shakespeare’s most famous “war play”; it includes the storied English victory over the French at Agincourt. Some of it glorifies war, especially the choruses and Henry’s speeches urging his troops into battle. But we also hear bishops conniving for war to postpone a bill that would tax the church, and soldiers expecting to reap profits from the conflict. Even in the speeches of Henry and his nobles, there are many chilling references to the human cost of war.

The authoritative edition of Henry V from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:

-The exact text of the printed book for easy cross-reference
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-Full explanatory notes conveniently linked to the text of the play
-Scene-by-scene plot summaries
-A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases
-An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language
-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
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-An annotated guide to further reading

Essay by Michael Neill

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.

When in Henry II of England married Eleanor of Aquitaine of France in 1154 A.D., he became at once the reigning sovereign over a vast stretch of land extending across all of England and half of France--and yet, according to the feudal hierarchy of the times, a vassal to the King of France. This situation, which placed French and English borders in such a tenuous position, solidified the precarious ground on which the Hundred Years War was to be fought 183 years later. This epic border conflict--which was contemporaneous with the age of popular uprisings and the Bubonic Plague, fought according to enduring notions of chivalry and the budding pride of nationality, and which numbered among its participants Richard II, the Black Prince of Wales, Henry IV, Henry V, and Charles of Navarre--ultimately depended upon a peasant woman, Joan of Arc, to reinforce the French ideal of a sacred kingdom, swing the pendulum once more in the direction of the French, and bring this perennial conflict to an end.

When in 1154 A.D. Henry II of England married Eleanor of Aquitaine of France, he became at once the reigning sovereign over a vast stretch of land extending across all of England and half of France, and yet, according to the feudal hierarchy of the times, a vassal to the King of France. This situation, which placed French and English borders in such a tenuous position, solidified the precarious ground on which the Hundred Years War was to be fought 183 years later. This epic border conflict--which was contemporaneous with the age of popular uprisings and the Bubonic Plague, fought according to enduring notions of chivalry and the budding pride of nationality, and which numbered among its participants Richard II, the Black Prince of Wales, Henry IV, Henry V, and Charles of Navarre--ultimately depended upon a peasant woman, Joan of Arc, to reinforce the French ideal of a sacred kingdom, swing the pendulum once more in the direction of the French, and bring this perennial conflict to an end.

Topics of the theme essays have been selected to show the diversity of this complex war, and include discussions of: the origins of the war; the age of popular rebellion; chivalry's effect on 14th and 15th century warfare; the religion of the monarchy and the role of sacred kingship in the building of the French monarchy; and Joan of Arc's understanding of the war. An annotated timeline and a chronology of French and English Kings provide readers with an easy-to-follow overview of the Hundred Years War and the rulers who presided over it. Nineteen biographical sketches of key French and English figures lend a human aspect to historic names; and 14 annotated primary documents breathe fresh life into the topic, and provide students and readers with a new look at the period. The book concludes with an annotated bibliography and index.

A “marvelous history”* of medieval Europe, from the bubonic plague and the Papal Schism to the Hundred Years’ War, by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Guns of August
 
*Lawrence Wright, author of The End of October, in The Wall Street Journal
 
The fourteenth century reflects two contradictory images: on the one hand, a glittering age of crusades, cathedrals, and chivalry; on the other, a world plunged into chaos and spiritual agony. In this revelatory work, Barbara W. Tuchman examines not only the great rhythms of history but the grain and texture of domestic life: what childhood was like; what marriage meant; how money, taxes, and war dominated the lives of serf, noble, and clergy alike. Granting her subjects their loyalties, treacheries, and guilty passions, Tuchman re-creates the lives of proud cardinals, university scholars, grocers and clerks, saints and mystics, lawyers and mercenaries, and, dominating all, the knight—in all his valor and “furious follies,” a “terrible worm in an iron cocoon.”
 
Praise for A Distant Mirror
 
“Beautifully written, careful and thorough in its scholarship . . . What Ms. Tuchman does superbly is to tell how it was. . . . No one has ever done this better.”The New York Review of Books
 
“A beautiful, extraordinary book . . . Tuchman at the top of her powers . . . She has done nothing finer.”The Wall Street Journal
 
“Wise, witty, and wonderful . . . a great book, in a great historical tradition.”—Commentary

NOTE: This edition does not include color images.
The Hundred Years War was a struggle for control over the French throne, fought as a series of conflicts between England, France, and their respective allies. The Soldier in Later Medieval England is the outcome of a project which collects the names of every soldier known to have served the English Crown from 1369 to the loss of Gascony in 1453, the event which is traditionally accepted as the end-date of the Hundred Years War. The data gathered throughout the project has allowed the authors of this volume to compare different forms of war, such as the chevauchées of the late fourteenth century and the occupation of French territories in the fifteenth century, and thus to identify longer-term trends. It also highlights the significance of the change of dynasty in England in the early 1400s. The scope of the volume begins in 1369 because of the survival from that point of the 'muster roll', a type of documentary record in which soldiers names are systematically recorded. The muster roll is a rich resource for the historian, as it allows closer study to be made of the peerage, the knights, the men-at-arms (the esquires), and especially the lower ranks of the army, such as the archers, who contributed the largest proportion of troops to English royal service. The Soldier in Later Medieval England seeks to investigate the different types of soldier, their regional and national origins, and movement between ranks. This is a wide-ranging volume, which offers invaluable insights into a much-neglected subject, and presents many opportunities for future research.

Provides clear, concise, and basic descriptions and definitions to over 260 key people, events, and terms relating to the series of conflicts between France and England in the 14th and 15th centuries that later came to be known as the Hundred Years War.

The Encyclopedia of the Hundred Years War provides its users with clear, concise, and basic descriptions and definitions of people, events, and terms relating in some significant way to the series of intermittent conflicts that occurred between France and England in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and that later came to be known collectively as the Hundred Years War. Because this volume focuses exclusively on war itself-what caused it, how it was fought, and what effects it had on the political, social, economic, and cultural life of England and France--it is not a general overview of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century history in either country, but a specialized treatment of the Anglo-French warfare that occurred during those centuries. Entries cover battles, leaders, truces and treaties, military terms and tactics, and sources for the war, including the plays of William Shakespeare, who has long been an important if not always reliable source for information about the people and events of the Hundred Years War.

The Encyclopedia was written primarily for students and other nonspecialists who have an interest-but little background-in this period of European history. Besides providing a highly usable resource for quickly looking up names and terms encountered in reading or during study, the Encyclopedia offers an excellent starting point for classroom or personal research on subjects relating to the course, causes, and consequences of the Hundred Years War. All entries conclude with suggested further readings. A comprehensive bibliography completes the encyclopedia, which is fully indexed.

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