Henry V on the front of the Shire Hall, Monmouth
Henry V on the front of the Shire Hall, Monmouth

A special illustrated talk by Juliet Barker on the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt

Sunday 25 October, 3pm, Shire Hall, Monmouth

It was the most famous victory of the middle ages. On 25th October 1415, despite being outnumbered, out-classed and out-manoeuvred, Henry V’s little band of brothers defied all the odds to inflict a crushing defeat on the assembled might of French chivalry. It was a defining moment in English history. The battle of Agincourt became part of the nation’s self-image. For six centuries it has been celebrated as the triumph of the underdog in the face of overwhelming odds, of discipline and determination over arrogance and egotism, of stout-hearted common men over dissolute aristocrats. But what is the truth behind the battle upon which so many legends have been built?

On the very day itself, the 600th anniversary of Agincourt, Dr Juliet Barker, popular historian and author of one of the most well read and celebrated books on the battle, will discuss how and why it happened, reveal the personal stories of some of those involved and demonstrate how, above all else, this momentous battle was a personal victory for one man: Monmouth’s most famous son – Henry V.

Agincourt: The King, The Campaign, The Battle by Juliet Barker
Agincourt: The King, The Campaign, The Battle by Juliet Barker

Juliet Barker is an internationally recognised authority on medieval history whose ability to combine ground-breaking scholarly research with a highly readable and accessible style has made her one of Britain’s most popular historians. A new and expanded edition of her best-selling Agincourt: The King, The Campaign, The Battle is published this year to mark the 600th anniversary of the battle. Her other books include Conquest: The English Kingdom of France 1417-1450, England, Arise: The People, The King and the Great Revolt of 1381 and two major biographies, The Brontës and Wordsworth: A Life. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and lives in the Yorkshire Dales.

Monmouth Museum is delighted to be able to bring Juliet Barker to Monmouth on this significant day, and copies of the new edition of her book on the Battle will also be available. In this landmark study of Agincourt, prize-winning author Juliet Barker draws upon a huge range of sources, published and unpublished, English and French, to give a compelling account of the battle. But she also looks behind the action on the field to paint a portrait of the age, from the logistics of preparing to launch one of the biggest invasion forces ever seen at the time to the dynamics of daily life in peace and war. She shows how the chivalry and piety that underpinned medieval society, and the contradictions inherent in trying to uphold them, were reflected in the fate of those caught up in the brutal power struggles of the period. A mad king, murderous dukes, scheming bishops, knightly heroes, surgeons, heralds, spies and pirates: the story of Agincourt has them all.

Juliet Barker is thrilled to be talking about Agincourt and Henry V in his birthplace on the 600th anniversary of the day of the battle itself.

Tickets £5 available from Monmouth Museum, 01600 710630



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