An extraordinary and dramatic depiction of the legendary battle of Agincourt from the number one historical novelist Agincourt, fought on October 25th 1415, St Crispin's Day, is one of England’s best-known battles, in part through the brilliant depiction of it in Shakespeare's Henry V, in part because it was a brilliant and unexpected English victory and in part because it was the first battle won by the use of the longbow - a weapon developed by the English which enabled them to dominate the European battlefields for the rest of the century. Bernard Cornwell’s Azincourt is a vivid, breath taking and meticulously well-researched account of this momentous battle and its aftermath. From the varying viewpoints of nobles, peasants, archers, and horsemen, Azincourt skilfully brings to life the hours of relentless fighting, the desperation of an army crippled by disease and the exceptional bravery of the English soldiers.
©2012 Bernard Cornwell (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
I didn't think I would get into the whole 14th Century thing, but this is a great story, with good characters and fantastic narration.
One of the seminal battles of British military history is the highlight of this masterpiece by Bernard Cornwell. Ignoring the cliched view that the archers won it on their own the actual battle is described in all its gory detail. The heady mix of the savagery of the times, the sheer bravery of the soldiery in the face of it and to no small extent the sheer ineptitude of command and organisation that were hallmarks of warfare at the time are all vividly described. Although there was much glory won on the field of battle it came at the end of a pretty ignominious campaign which Cornwell details in full without pulling any punches.
The joy of reading Cornwell's books is not just the grandiose set piece battles and action scenes but the way he weaves his knowledge of the minutiae of life in these far distant times into the books to educate without it ever feeling like anything but a story.
The presentation concludes with the views and thoughts of the author clarifying where and how he blurred the lines between fact and fiction as well as thoughts on further reading which many will appreciate.
Simply excellent and very well narrated.
"Fantastic story .. terrible narrator."
Well written book, great story. Fascinating historical tale. My husband and I listened to this together on long road trips in the car. Sadly we couldn't finish it. Despite its enthralling and gripping tale, the narrator was so terrible that his screeching renditions of characters were so categorically wrong, misread, misplaced, and misacted that we just couldn't bear to finish it. I would hear his awful screeching voice in my head even long after we stopped listening. It was tragic that all his male characters seemed to have the same screechy voice, even the heroic Knights. It was an appalling performance for such a good book. Unfortunate.
"Narrator sounded bored"
There wasn't much in the way of emotion in regard to reading out the story.
"Great historical novel"
This is the first Bernard Cornwell novel I have read. He brings history to life with his descriptions of everything from clothing and food to lifestyle and language.
You feel you learn some largely accurate history in a epic story.
It's immensely enjoyable.
"Exciting, factual and brilliantly written."
Another masterpiece by the best writer of historic combat. The story, as all Bernard Cornwell’s novels, is incredibly factual as well as being entertaining. I am always gripped by how he manages to manifest a character and build it around real life historical facts which makes you feel the actual moment of time he is describing. I can only assume that BC has this incredible infatuation with the British longbow as most of his characters are masters of the same and he has based great stories around the British archer and penned great battles. This book is one of them and he has brought to life Thomas Hook, describing the barbarity of the time in the ususal gut wrenching and cringing reality of warfare. Not much more can be said other than brilliant, nicely assisted by the narration of Damien Goodwin. Great read/listen. I would highly recommend.
"Cornwall at his best"
Another great book by Bernard Cornwall with fantastic narration. As always the history is brought to life and at the end of the book left with a feeling that not only way I entertained but enlightend. Narration was fantastic too!
"Not bad but not brilliant"
A good adventure, read well by Damien Goodwin, with the story of the battle itself told in a very vivid and evocative way. I think the story tales a little too long to get to the battle, although I appreciate the need to set up the characters although they feel rather one dimensional and predictable, like many Cornwell stories. Still lots of fun though.
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