Henry V as Warlord

  • USA 2014 (Pegasus); England, 1987 (Sidgwick & Jackson, History Book Club); 2001 (Penguin paperback); 2013 (Thistle Publishing paperback and e-book)
  • USA, 1988 (Viking and History Book Club of America – main choice); 1996 (Eastern Press – collectors’ edition); 1999 (Books on Tape)
  • Translation, 1996, Russian (Russitch)


Idolized in his lifetime and immortalized by Shakespeare, Henry V is the military genius whose armies crushed the French at Agincourt against huge odds, and who went on to conquer north-western France, marrying the king’s daughter and becoming heir and regent. But Desmond Seward sweeps away the myths and idolatry to reveal Shakespeare’s hero-king as a cruel, intolerant bigot. He shows the ruthlessness of a man who called himself ‘the scourge of God’ when reproached for massacring French Christians: how he slaughtered prisoners of war, and whose blind ambition arose from his determination to prove his tenuous claim to the throne of England usurped. Henry V, argues Seward, created a distrust between England and France that has lasted to this day.

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Reviews of: Henry V as Warlord

  • a very readable book and full of good things .. the portrait is wonderfully done.

    Daily Telegraph
  • reflects some of the latest scholarly research on the king.