Jonathan Sumption's Cursed Kings is the eagerly anticipated fourth volume in what Allan Massie has called "one of the great historical works of our time."
Cursed Kings tells the story of the destruction of France by the madness of its king and the greed and violence of his family. In the early fifteenth century France, Europe's strongest and most populous state, suffered a complete internal collapse. As the warring parties within fought for the spoils of the kingdom under the vacant gaze of the mad King Charles VI, the country was left at the mercy of one of the most remarkable rulers of the European Middle Ages: Henry V of England, who had destroyed the French army on the field of Agincourt in October 1415 and left most of France's leadership dead.
Sumption recounts in extraordinary detail the relentless campaign of conquest that brought Henry to the streets and palaces of Paris within just a few years. He died at the age of thirty-six in a French royal castle in 1422, just two months before he would have become king of France.
Six centuries later, these extraordinary events are overlaid by the resounding words of Shakespeare and the potent national myths of England and France. In Cursed Kings, Jonathan Sumption strips away the layers to rediscover the personalities and events that lie beneath.
About the Author
Table of Contents
List of Maps, Plans and Tables ix
I Paris 1400: A Time of Fortune 1
II Divided Island: England, 1399-1402 43
III The Pirate War, 1402-1404 89
IV The Duke of Orléans, 1404-1405 130
V Gascony and Wales, 1405-1407 184
VI In the Rue Vieille du Temple: The Road to Civil War, 1407-1411 234
VII Unwelcome Friends: The English in France, 1411-1413 278
VIII The Cabochians: Revolution in Paris, 1413 332
IX Henry V, 1413-1414 366
X 'With trety ye lose…': Towards the Breach, 1414-1415 401
XI Harfleur and Agincourt, 1415 431
XII The Count of Armagnac, 1415-1417 468
XIII The Conquest of Normandy, 1417-1418 530
XIV The Siege of Rouen, 1418-1419 580
XV On the Bridge of Montereau, 1419-1420 615
XVI The Treaty of Troyes, 1419-1420 655
XVII Melun and Paris: Disaster at Baugé, 1420-1421 701
XVIII The Siege of Meaux: The Death of Princes, 1421-1422 735