On October 25th, 1415 a small English army of exhausted men faced a colossal army of French knights being outnumbered 6/1. Against all odds the English triumphed because of superior tactics and it is considered to be one of the finest victories in English history. Agincourt is also one of the most significant battles in the Middle ages. For this reason, many books have already been written about it. So writing another book about the battle is an unthankful task.
Barry Renfrew has been able to describe the battle in perfect manner and this book may therefore be considered as a part of the ‘standard works’. This books stands out from many other (military) history books, because of the superb way it is written.
Many books about battles are what I consider ‘technical’. You’ll get loads of information about the units involved, weapons used, tactics and other data, which is fine, but only few books stand out from being just factual. This book definitely does. Once I started the book it was hard to put down, since you really feel in the middle of the battle.
Barry Renfrew describes many details about the battle and the people involved, sometimes from day to day and sometimes minute per minute. It describes the hardships of being a soldier in the middle ages. The dialogues between the soldiers, lords and many others add to this feeling. No details are left out and you really feel what a battle in the middle ages must have been like and many times it is quite gruesome.
Days are getting shorter. If you look for a book to read on a chair next to the fireplace holding a glass of whiskey, this book is highly recommendable.
Agincourt 1415, Field of blood is available as a paperback and as an e-book.