[[ Prime ]] Trial by Battle Author Jonathan Sumption – Multi-channel.co

A historical approach to game of thrones Every bit as convulted, fascinating and with evencharacters The book suffers from the fact Sumption s view on history is that their is a fact , and so he does not engage in the historiagraphy at all But, as a narrative, the work captures the chaos, decisions, dysfunction, and wonder of the age where England was defining its own way in the world, and redefining itself asthan the vassal of Paris If you like Game of Thrones, this book is like The Silmarillion of that If not, the historigraphy needs brushing up in incorporate current trends, but makes a decent reference work for the records. I was weaned on Edward perroys brief yet nearly unrivaled history of the hundred years war that book is some couple hundred pages,covering the entirety of the war while volume 1 and 2 alone are 586 each not counting maps, etc volume e is nearly a third longer however, Mr Sumptions efforts are needed as this is the most thorough narrative history of the war available much of this first volume is spent on the growing tensions between the two kings and Edward III s attempted to, unsuccessfully build a low country coalition.this is all done well, despite it s necessary redundancy it is a history of the war not the best and most exciting bits please understand that if u do, you will get what you bargained for if u want a briefer history go to perroys first rate account, just avoid d Seward my only reason for not giving this 5 stars is the poor editing I must have counted nearly 40 to 50 basic and careless errors I am not talking about elite grammatical snobbery I m talking about things your 8th grade teacher would circle with a red pen such carelessness makes me question the authority behind the fact checking as well dates can get mixed etc.I haven t found any of those, but such blatant disregard by the editor makes me wonder how much time they put in paralleled with Mr sumptions 10 year effort for each volume Originally published on my blog here in May 2001.In England, the Hundred Years War is chiefly remembered for the victories of Crecy and particularly Agincourt There was a great dealto the war or,properly speaking, series of wars and it had important consequences for the development of both the French and English states, and on the conception of these states by their inhabitants as immortalised by Shakespeare, Agincourt was still used in Second World War propaganda.Sumption s history of the war, of which this is the first volume, is an old fashined narrative history, ifconcerned with matters like finance than earlier orsketchy descriptions It assumes a fair amount of knowledge of the generality of medieval history, and concentrates instead on a detailed study of the causes of the war and its earliest phase this volume, about six hundred pages, only covers the admittedly complex events of the period 1328 1347, along with the background which sets the scene.The major thing which comes across from this particular book is just how difficult medieval administration was Lack of information meant that governments had little idea what could be afforded by their countries poor communications made it difficult to gather troops tax systems in their infancy made it difficult to collect money, especially when military defeat provoked opposition and France in particular was an extremely complex collection of smaller communities, each with different traditions, laws and privileges far greater unity was one of the eventual effects of the war , making it impossibly to impose any taxes or conscript armies with any degree of uniformity across the nation.These difficulties explain why gains and losses in this stage of the war tended to be impermanent each side could take territory when they could spend money in one place, but this would quickly be lost when the money ran out Magnates changed sides when their expenses went unpaid, and soldiers and sailors frequently refused to fight unless their own homes were in danger.This is an excellent history, with the same feeling for the Middle Ages shown by Sumption s portrait of the church, The Age of Pilgrimage A must for anyone interested in the period. The Hundred Years War is a conflict that stands out by virtue of its length and yet in one sense, it is about only one part of the longstanding struggle between England and France during the Middle Ages From the moment William the Bastard of Normandy defeated Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings and became William I of England, England and France were intertwined by the complex ties of feudalism, with the ruler of England also a vassal of the French monarch As the power of the French crown grew, this complicated relationship led to increasing conflict, of which the Hundred Years War represented its culmination.That Johnathan Sumption spends nearly a third of his book recounting the tangled events that led to the start of the conflict in 1337 is in part a reflection of this It also embodies, though, the patient, detailed recounting of a conflict that was epic in both scope and length In this, the first of his multi volume history of the war, he details the development of the war from its origins in the inter kingdom politics of 14th century England and France to the English victory at Cr cy and its successful siege of Calais a decade later This is less straightforward than it may appear on the surface, asthan England and France were involved in the conflict In one sense, the war emerged out of England s ongoing conflict with it s Scottish neighbor to the north, which France sought to exploit in its ongoing pursuit of the English crown s holdings in Gascony As war loomed England s king Edward III sought out allies from throughout northwestern Europe, whose support he gained primarily through generous subsidies, which were financed in large measure using extraordinary loans from Italian banking houses As Sumption demonstrates, the financial aspects of the war were central to the conflict, often playing adecisive role in developments than events on the battlefield.One of the reasons for the centrality of finance was the scope of the conflict, which extended from Scotland to southwestern France and encompassed both land and naval conflict Yet the governments of the era lacked the resources to fight wars on such a vast scale, which often led what a modern age would term outsourcing, with both sides relying upon third parties such as regional nobles to advance their interests, Usually these people wereinterested in profit than in strategy and politics, yet even their mercenary goals could serve the interests of their employers by tying down enemy troops, even if it came at the cost of innumerable suffering for the inhabitants of the regions where the forces were engaged.Much of Sumption s account is devoted to recounting these side struggles, which defined the experience of the war for most of its participants and victims Yet for all of its complexity and detail a level that might turn off some readers Sumption s narrative never sags from it This in itself makes Sumption s book a considerable achievement, one that once its subsequent volumes of which there are two, with a third coming out this fall are completed will likely stand as the definitive account of this epic struggle for decades to come. A very dense but readable book about a time I thought I knew quite a lot about Learned where the war actually started, the huge financial setback even the victors were experiencing, plus the sheer volume of countries involved in a war that was usually said to be between 3 or 4 people s I cannot wait for volume 2, 3, 4, and 5 An excellent introduction to the first years of the Hundred Years War, and the opening volume in Sumption s quartet about the era about wars ranging from the edge of the Pyrenees to central Scotland Well researched, well written, often dryly funny, with a keen eye for personalities and places Jonathan Sumption is a law lord, a justice of Britain s new Supreme Court, and his account of the legal intricacies of medieval warfare and the rites of feudalism and vassalage is clear, elegant, and intriguing While not a military historian, Sumption s account of Crecy and of campaigns in Scotland and the Aquitaine is succinct and lucid Very fine read, highly recommended. I don t think there can be muchto add to reviews of this book It is pretty much a step by step of the long and aggravated war that Edward III incited chasing the crown of France, and though extraordinarily in depth, is one of the easiest reads on the subject you ll likely find that is factual Sumption does a great job of keeping on topic as well, which means anyone looking to books for a wider understanding of medieval society will unlikely find it, which to me is a bonus Many books can waver on certain topics too long or not enough when they are broader subjects This keep well on track, and right in the action.Personally, I m researching for a novel, but anyone remotely interested in how these battles were won, who was there and what they did and what weapons they used , this is for you It also introduces some interesting insights into weaponry of the era in motion, especially the victory at Crecy, one of the most revered historical battles, which changed everything, but didn t really gain anything.Currently there are four books in the series, with the final one ending with the English expelled from France just before turning on themselves with the Wars of the Roses. A fascinating insight into the exercise and limitations of power Traditionally we think that the further back in history thethat monarchs ruled as they pleased However, the monarchs of England and France had significant limitations to their power Neither had the means of raising money without the assent of nobles This then conferred power to the nobles as monarchs were reliant on them for money as well as manpower The blatant non compliance by nobles is surprising which says a lot about the independence of their power and resources The book is most interesting when describing the machinations of nobles and monarchs Inevitably, once the fighting gets into full swing there is a bit too much detail of the troop movements and trailing around. This sets a new bar for popular history which seems an odd thing to say given it was published in 1989 It is superbly readable, being written in stripped down, elegant prose which nevertheless never patronises the reader And there is a wonderfully dry sense of humour present in it as well, entirely at odds with the very po faced tone taken by other writers in the genre Best of all, there s no academic point scoring or showing off This is a narrative account, told like a story exactly as history should be done. A Succession Of Catastrophes In The Middle Years Of The Fourteenth Century Brought France To The Brink Of Destruction The Bankruptcy Of The French State And A Bitter Civil War Within The Royal Family Were Followed By The Defeat And Capture Of The King Of France By The Black Prince At Poitiers A Peasant Revolt And A Violent Revolution In Paris Completed The Tragedy In A Humiliating Treaty Of Partition France Ceded Than A Third Of Its Territory To Edward III Of England Not For Sixty Years Would The English Again Come So Close To Total Victory France S Great Cities, Provincial Towns And Rural Communities Resisted Where Its Leaders Failed They Withstood The Sustained Savagery Of The Soldiers And The Free Companies Of Brigands To Undo Most Of Edward III S Work In The Following Generation England S Triumphs Proved To Be Brittle And Short Lived