Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Agincourt - Where History Became Legend!

I see that Bernard Cornwell has shifted his historical focus once again from the Viking era to the reign of Henry V in his newest novel, Agincourt:

Young Nicholas Hook is dogged by a cursed past—haunted by what he has failed to do and banished for what he has done. A wanted man in England, he is driven to fight as a mercenary archer in France, where he finds two things he can love: his instincts as a fighting man, and a girl in trouble. Together they survive the notorious massacre at Soissons, an event that shocks all Christendom. With no options left, Hook heads home to England, where his capture means certain death. Instead he is discovered by the young King of England—Henry V himself—and by royal command he takes up the longbow again and dons the cross of Saint George. Hook returns to France as part of the superb army Henry leads in his quest to claim the French crown. But after the English campaign suffers devastating early losses, it becomes clear that Hook and his fellow archers are their king's last resort in a desperate fight against an enemy more daunting than they could ever have imagined.

One of the most dramatic victories in British history, the battle of Agincourt—immortalized by Shakespeare in Henry V—pitted undermanned and overwhelmed English forces against a French army determined to keep their crown out of Henry's hands. Here Bernard Cornwell resurrects the legend of the battle and the "band of brothers" who fought it on October 25, 1415. An epic of redemption, Agincourt follows a commoner, a king, and a nation's entire army on an improbable mission to test the will of God and reclaim what is rightfully theirs. From the disasters at the siege of Harfleur to the horrors of the field of Agincourt, this exhilarating story of survival and slaughter is at once a brilliant work of history and a triumph of imagination. - Harper/Collins Publishers

Bernard Cornwell discusses the history behind Agincourt.

Agincourt is slated for release January 20, 2009.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Cornwell at the Historical Novel Society Conference in Albany, New York a couple of years ago. The conference is held every two years and is scheduled this year from June 12 -14 in Schaumburg, Illinois. My son lives in Schaumburg so I called him up and said "Guess who gets to come stay with you in June?" My son is also a writer and said if the guests were interesting he might join me. I'm excited to see that Margaret George is one of the featured speakers this year. Her "Autobiography of Henry VIII" is one of my all time favorites!
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