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By Gordon Corrigan

The glory and tragedy of the Hundred Years battle is published in a brand new old narrative, bringing Henry V, the Black Prince, and Joan of Arc to clean and brilliant life

In this appealing new historical past of a clash that raged for over a century, Gordon Corrigan finds the horrors of conflict and the machinations of strength that experience formed a millennium of Anglo-French relations.

The Hundred Years battle used to be fought among 1337 and 1453 over English claims to either the throne of France by way of correct of inheritance and big components of the rustic that have been at one time Norman or, later, English. The scuffling with ebbed and flowed, yet regardless of their improved strategies and nice victories at Crécy, Poitiers, and Agincourt, the English may perhaps by no means desire to safe their claims in perpetuity: France used to be wealthier and much extra populous, and whereas the English gained the battles, they can now not desire to carry without end the lands they conquered.

Military historian Gordon Corrigan's gripping narrative of those epochal occasions in combative and refreshingly alive, and the good battles and personalities of the interval - Edward III, The Black Prince, Henry V, and Joan of Arc between them - obtain the complete cognizance and reassessment they deserve.

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Then it would have seemed very odd indeed not to put the interests of one’s own family before all else. We should beware of judging the past by the standards of the present. One of Edward’s first acts as king was to set up a commission to enquire into the very abuses that had precipitated civil war in his father’s time, and he was assiduous in exposing and punishing corruption and misuse of office, provided that it was not his own. As many of the magnates claimed rights and privileges on the grounds that they had held them ‘since time immemorial’, Edward defined this as prior to the accession of Richard I in 1189.

Since the eighteenth century, Queen Isabella has been described as the ‘she-wolf of France’. Reviled as a notorious adulteress, a rebel against her husband and an accomplice in his murder, only recently has she been reassessed, at least by some, as a tragic queen. Isabella certainly had much to contend with, and for most of her marriage to Edward II she was a loyal and supportive wife. She accompanied her husband on military campaigns (campaigns which almost always had disastrous results), and on several occasions she was entrusted with the Great Seal of England; she was literate and, with maturity, certainly capable of understanding the political nuances, both domestic and international, of her time.

Any remaining errors are of course entirely mine. A GREAT AND GLORIOUS ADVENTURE From top to bottom: The coat of arms of Edward III adopted on claiming the French throne in 1337; the coat of arms of King George III prior to and after the abandonment of the claim to the French throne in 1801. 1 WHERE IT ALL BEGAN The English ownership of lands in what is now France began with Stamping Billy, William the Conqueror, duke of Normandy and king of England, whose claim to the English throne by inheritance may have been thin – he was a distant cousin of Edward the Confessor – but was a lot stronger than that of Harold Godwinson, who had no blood claim at all but was merely a brother-in-law of the late king.

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