Category Archives: Hundred Years’ War

The Beaufort Legitimacy

You would think that as the author of a book called ‘The House of Beaufort; the Bastard Line that Captured the Crown’, my answer to the question, ‘were the Beauforts illegitimate’, would be a resounding yes. The clue is in … Continue reading

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Why do historians disagree? A comparison of biographies of Henry V

There can be little doubt that Henry V is one of England’s most celebrated monarchs. Shakespeare’s dramatization of the events surrounding the Battle of Agincourt has secured Henry’s place in history, with many believing him to be one of England’s … Continue reading

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A little touch of Branagh: Henry V

  Abstract: Taking as a starting point the illuminating similarity between the critical reception of Kenneth Branagh’s film of Henry V (1989) and the liberal humanist reading of the Shakespearean play-text, this article highlights a series of significant stress-points in the … Continue reading

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What was Livery and Maintenance (or Retaining)?

Livery and Maintenance went hand-in-hand with chivalry, and created problems throughout the high middle ages. Once I realized that “retaining” was the verb for “retainer” I started to get the idea. The noble or king had his retainers, who were … Continue reading

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Strategies of War in Westeros

Introduction: George R.R. Martin’s Westeros seems to have an unreasonably large number of battles compared to the real Middle Ages. In A Clash of Kings there are no less than five field actions during the course of Robb Stark’s one-year … Continue reading

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What Happened To Prisoners Of War In Medieval England

Every medieval English monarch had to decide how to deal with prisoners of war. Ruling over territory that sometimes ran from the highlands of Scotland to the south of France, their authority rested on violence. Fighting the French, Scots, Welsh, … Continue reading

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Ten Men Who Almost Became the King of England

The crown of England did not always pass from father to first born son; sometimes sons died before their fathers or younger brothers grabbed the throne.  Many of these might have been forgotten by history leaving us unaware of the paths not … Continue reading

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