Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Hundred Years War

I've been enjoying Janina Ramirez's series on The Hundred Years War. I knew about Crecy and Agincourt but I'd never even heard of the Battle of Castillon- which lost us Gascony. We slaughtered the French with our long bows, they went away and thought about it for several decades, then came back with guns. The popular histories I absorbed as a kid left out that last bit. Brave Talbot was squashed by his horse, got swatted by a man with an axe and could only be identified from his dental records. Ramirez is appreciative of the Duke of Bedford- loyal, a great soldier and diplomat; also a devoted Francophile; hey, he burned Joan of Arc- poor kid- but- no hard feelings- that was business. There's a part of me that's sorry England and France didn't get united under a single crown (I hadn't realized before how close we came to that happening- what with Henry VI getting himself crowned Rex Christianissimus in Notre Dame de Paris)  but Ramirez assures me that getting chased back into our little island was what made us the bulldog breed we are and that's not something a patriotic English person can regret. We went into the War with a French-speaking nobility and came out the far side with all of us speaking and writing English, a wholly native style of architecture and a healthy disrespect for the divine right of kings.
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