304pp 8 ILLUS 3 LINE DRAWINGS 2012 LIST PRICE: £24.99 (P) B804



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Henry V, the hero of Shakespeare's play, who defeated the French at the Battle of Agincourt and came close to being crowned King of France, is one of the most compelling English monarchs. This new biography takes a fresh look at his life and gives a balanced view of Henry, traditionally seen as a great hero but more recently depicted as an obsessive egotist or a ruthless warlord. The book locates Henry's style of kingship in the context of the time, and looks at neglected other figures who influenced and helped him, such as his father and his uncles, Henry and Thomas Beaufort. Matusiak shows that the situation confronting Henry at the outset of his reign was far more favourable than is often supposed but that he was nonetheless a man of prodigious gifts whose extraordinary achievements in battle left the deepest possible impression upon his contemporaries.