Conquest: The English Kingdom of France, 1417–1450

Juliet Barker. Harvard Univ, $29.95 (512p) ISBN 978-0-674-06560-4
England’s little-studied conquest of France during the Hundred Years War is absorbingly recounted by Barker. In 1417, Henry V invaded France to annex Normandy, which he believed to be his rightful inheritance. The fallout of this invasion played out over the next 30 years, as Henry conquered Normandy, and France’s weak, fitfully mad Charles VI conceded in giving his daughter Katherine to wed Henry, who became regent of France. The next few years saw the deaths of both Henry and Charles, England’s attempt to extend its rule beyond Normandy, and, in 1424, the rise of a peasant girl named Jehanne d’Arc, who led a group of disaffected French against the English at Orléans and crowned Charles VII king of France. Although Henry V’s son, Henry VI, again tried marriage—to Margaret of Anjou—to protect his French kingdom, he actually gave up lands, strengthening the hand of Charles VII, who in just 12 months swept the English away. With her crisp storytelling and meticulous historical research, Barker (Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle That Made England) vividly narrates a tale of political intrigue and military strategy that reveals power-hungry English kings and the fierce defense of France by one of its most famous heroines. 3 maps. Agent: Andrew Lownie, Andrew Lownie Literary Agency (U.K.). (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/12/2011
Release date: 02/01/2012
Hardcover - 485 pages - 978-1-4087-0083-9
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-1-4087-0246-8
Paperback - 485 pages - 978-0-674-72576-8
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