Henry V – Playboy Prince to Warrior, Anne Curry

A brilliantly composite narrative of Henry V’s short life and reign. King for just under 10 years, Henry’s life was eventful and significant. It was he, with his victory at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, his retaking of Normandy in 1417 and the signing of the Treaty of Troyes in 1420 that left him as the heir and regent of the French throne. The realisation of Edward III’s ambition more than 50 years earlier. He was an able and charismatic leader, intelligent, capable of multi tasking with a fervent attention to detail. Perhaps what is most remarkable about Henry was not just that he won the crown of France, but that he endeared himself to the French by his firm but fair rule. This was a style of Kingship that Henry strongly believed in, often pardoning those who opposed his rule, and placing even those who were not necessarily sympathetic to his rule in positions of power. Had his life not been cut short at just 35 perhaps the double monarchy of England and France would have succeeded and the History of Western Europe would have been very different. We will never know. However the many successes of his short reign have left him as one of the most beloved and admired of Medieval England’s Kings.

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