The Hundred Years War, Volume 1: Trial by Battle available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
A History Book Club selection
About the Author
A former history fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, Jonathan Sumption is the author of The Hundred Years War, Volume 2: Trial by Fire, The Hundred Years War, Volume 3: Divided Houses, and The Hundred Years War, Volume 4: Cursed Kings, all available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.
Table of Contents
|List of Maps and Plans||vii|
|I||France in 1328||1|
|II||The England of Edward III||38|
|IV||Crises of Succession||100|
|V||War in Scotland, 1331-1335||123|
|VI||The Failure of Diplomacy: The Threat at Sea, 1335-1337||152|
|VII||Grand Strategy, 1337-1338||185|
|VIII||Cambrai and the Thierache, 1338-1339||239|
|IX||The Flemish Alliance and the Campaigns on the Scheldt, 1339-1340||291|
|X||Sluys and Tournai: The War of the Albrets, 1340||319|
|XII||The Truce of Malestroit, 1343-1345||411|
|XIII||Bergerac and Auberoche, 1345-1346||455|
|XIV||Aiguillon and Crecy, 1346||489|
|XV||The Siege of Calais, 1346-1347||535|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sumption is one of England's top 2 or 3 commercial lawyers. Goodness knows how he finds the time to research and write history books as well. As Sumption points out, this is narrative history without much in the way of analysis. Although it is 600 pages and only covers teh first 10 years of the war, events move at a rapid pace and the number of personablities involved can make things a bit confusing. There's a degree of unreality in that we don't ever get to understand the characters of the two main protaganists - Edward III and Philip VI - except through their actions. Sumption is right to point out that contempary chroniclers just didn't write about royalty in that way. There's a solid section on the causes of the war - fundamentally the centiuries old problem of kings in England having to do homage for their possessions in France. Sumption is strong on the problems of paying for war and the devastation that maurading armies caused.Good, solid history (and I'll certainly read volume 2 at some point) but Sumption the historian is not in the same rank as Sumption the lawyer.
In a historical note to his novel about the start of 100 Years War, The Archer's Tale, Bernard Conwell recommends Trial by Battle as superb, as well as acknowledging an enormous debt to the book. Sumption is a successful lawyer and writes his superb books in his 'spare' time.