The Hundred Years War Vol 5

Jonathan Sumption


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31 August 2023
ISBN: 9780571274574
992 pages

From the publisher

The eagerly anticipated final volume in Jonathan Sumption's prize-winning history of the Hundred Years War, 'one of the great historical undertakings of our age' (Dan Jones, Sunday Times).

Triumph and Illusion is the final volume of Jonathan Sumption's epic history of the Hundred Years War. It tells the story of the collapse of the English dream of conquest, from the opening years of the reign of Henry VI, when the battles of Cravant and Verneuil consolidated their control of most of northern France, to the loss of all of England's continental dominions except Calais thirty years later.

This sudden reversal of fortune was a seminal event in the history of the two principal nation-states of western Europe. It brought to an end four centuries of the English dynasty's presence in France, separating two countries whose fates had once been closely intertwined. It created a new sense of national identity in both countries. The legacy of these events would influence their divergent prospects for centuries to come.

Behind the clash of arms stood some of the most remarkable personalities of the age: the Duke of Bedford, the English Regent who ruled much of France from Paris and Rouen; Charles VII of France, underrated in both countries, who patiently rebuilt his kingdom after the disasters of his early years; the captains who populate the pages of Shakespeare - Fastolf, Montagu, Talbot, Dunois and, above all, the extraordinary figure of Joan of Arc, who changed the course of the war in a few weeks at the age of seventeen.