Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Agincourt, by Anne Curry - book review: The archers omnibus - Reviews - Books - The Independent

Agincourt, by Anne Curry - book review

Anne Curry’s interesting, commendably accessible, and admirably well researched book commemorates this autumn’s 600th anniversary and is very good at sorting fact from fiction. She begins by piecing together what actually happened when Henry V led a smallish English army against a large French one in an expansionist bid to seize France. She uses a number of contemporary or near-contemporary accounts. 

Yes, Henry really was a charismatic orator well able to whip up the morale of his men. Yes, the sky was, at one point, dark with a shower of English arrows. Yes, he named the battle after a nearby castle. And he most definitely gave an order to kill the French prisoners. Shakespeare included that, of course. Olivier omitted it. The last thing Britain needed in 1944 after five years of war with Germany was a film about an English leader with  ambivalent morality. 

University of Delaware Library acquires rare Shakespeare quarto

University of Delaware Library acquires rare Shakespeare quarto

The University of Delaware Library has announced the purchased acquisition of a rare early quarto edition of a play by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher, The Two Noble Kinsmen (London: by Tho. Cotes, for John Waterson, 1634). 

The piece was made possible with support from the B.H. Breslauer Foundation; the University of Delaware Library Associates; the College of Arts and Sciences; the recently retired Lois Potter, professor emeritus of the Department of English; and Mark Samuels Lasner, senior research fellow in the Special Collections Department.

Q5: Professor emeritus explores Middle Ages with new novel

After a long and eventful military career, including battalion command in Vietnam and four tours as an intelligence officer and Russian foreign area specialist in Europe during the Cold War, Col. George Steger began a second career in academia. He is a professor emeritus in history and international affairs at the University of Saint Mary. He has written a book entitled “Sebastian's Way.”

The novel is the story of two men: Charlemagne, “The Thunderer,” master of all Europe in the 8th century, who fights and rules like the pagan enemies he seeks to conquer, and Sebastian, a young warrior who challenges the king to forge a new path to peace. The pitch of the book is how difficult it is to have radically different ideas from those around you, especially if you are right and those in authority are wrong. Being different needs courage and a very good reason, and one needs to be prepared to pay the price. The background for the novel was the 30-year war Charlemagne fought with the Saxons.