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Publisher's Summary

This insightful look at the life of Henry V and the Battle of Agincourt casts new light on a period in history often held up as legend. A great English hero, Henry V was lionized by Shakespeare and revered by his countrymen for his religious commitment, his sense of justice, and his military victories.

Here, noted historian and biographer Ian Mortimer takes a look at the man behind the legend and offers a clear, historically accurate, and realistic representation of a ruler who was all too human.

©2013 Ian Mortimer (P)2017 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"A new and convincing likeness of medieval England's most iconic king." ( Sunday Times)

What listeners say about Henry V

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    5 out of 5 stars

Accessible, grounded, enjoyable

Excellent narration meets excellent history for a broad audience--while displaying real academic rigor. By approaching the year day by day and in paying attention to exactly where the money went, Mortimer shows how Henry spent his time and his money. How could you do better to see what a person values? Mortimer also frankly addresses the limitations of his approach, while defending what he believes (and I agree) it adds to a discussion of Henry. Thus, Mortimer comes across as informed, intelligent, and intellectually honest. The best history book I've read in several years.

14 people found this helpful

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Best history book I’ve listened to

This is a must read for anyone who has watched Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V or Netflix’s “the King” to understand the “real” Henry and his times. The day-by-day storyline gives you an insight into Henry’s superpower planning for a war he always said he didn’t want to fight. It appears that the only thing that separated Henry from becoming a footnote in history was luck-particularly that it rained at Agincourt before the battle. Superb narration as well

10 people found this helpful

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New Insights

I just learned something today after listening to Prof. Mortimer’s audiobook. It relates to the Battle of Agincourt and perceived troop strengths on each side. I will not disclose the exact new kernel of knowledge gained, but listen to this fine audiobook and you may too have an “AHA!” moment like I just did.

This is a very well researched and written book and I am a better person for having bought it. James Cameron Stewart is a narrator of the first water. His pacing is perfect.

Drop the dime. This audiobook is worth your time.

6 people found this helpful

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Thoroughly enjoyed.

What did you like about this audiobook?

I liked the progression according to the calendar. It gave me a chance to understand just how hard it was to get an invasion planned and to pull it off.

How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

This is the first history book I have read like this. I like it very much.

Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

He was easy for me to follow and I didn't get annoyed even after an hour or so.

What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

what it took to go to war in 1415

6 people found this helpful

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Good but not as good as his Edward 3 or Henry IV

An interesting book but being told in sequential order using only 1415 I think hurt the storytelling aspect. The author is not a big fan of Henry V. He makes some good points but concluding that greatness is not possible because people are flawed is strange.1

2 people found this helpful

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Go for it

Surprise surprise, I watched The King on Netflix and wanted to learn more about the real Henry V - if you’re in the same boat than this is a great place to start. Unique and engaging format and grapples with the difficulties of 15th century life and how we may interpret things today. Ian Mortimer is a great guide for engaging the man behind the myth in an objective and thoughtful way.

2 people found this helpful

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Fresh and compelling!

One year in the life of a man so revered in legend and national memory...definitely the best take on Henry V I've ever had the pleasure to read! The way Mr Mortimer intertwines European events with the actions of this single man is irresistible!

1 person found this helpful

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Love the author & other titles, not this narrator

As a huge fan of Ian Mortimer and his series on English medieval monarchs, the narrator of this specific book is just not for me; too robotic, emotionless, monotonous with overly predicable pausing within the sentence structure, regardless of content. Unfortunate as the content is exceptional.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent and well argued

I know much more about Henry V now, not just the cartoon hagiographic version I grew up with. Not an attractive character in Mortimer’s telling, but interesting as a study in will, luck, and — in my way of thinking — extremist religious fantasy.

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I had to stop listening because of the terrible narrator.

Seriously, who picks this pompous sing-song style for their books? He makes a mockery out of the plain flow of the syntax, almost as if he begrudges giving it any natural meaning. I’m very curious about Henry V. But I can’t take it anymore. Two hours in. I’m DONE!