Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Today In History: Happy Few.

On this day in 1415, Henry V of England landed in Normandy with 8,000 men and proceeded to spend the next few months handing the French one monumental ass-whuppin' after another.

6 comments:

Rio Arriba said...

Oh, Henry! You wouldn't recognize the place now. Nor would ye wish to live there.

I don't think they even celebrate St. Crispin's day any more. Too... aggressive.

Akatsukami said...

The reason that those happy few were so few was that Harry lost two-thirds of his army at Harfleur.

dr mac said...

Trivia question- when is the last time the French did not take a ass whupp'in.

Steve Skubinna said...

Agincourt aside, Hank the Veeth was one hell of a king. If you gotta have one, hope it's one like him.

Anonymous said...

Henry Vth was the very model of a modern medieval monarch.

Effective, loved, feared, competent... his only major flaw was that he died too young, that is before his French father in law, ( Henry V was next in line to the French throne, by marriage after that campaign) the french took the opportunity to renege on their agreements.

Talk about changing hsitory: Imagine a Western Empire and lack of subsequent 500 years of internecine French - English warfare.

Of course the world would speak some version of French ,not english, because god only knows the "English" aristocracy and bureauracy of the time spoke and wrote someting far closer to French than what ever the local english dialect was.

Juliet Barker's "Agincourt: The King-The Campaign-the Battle" is a very good book about this, if any one cares.

Fascinating study of how a small medieval state ( England) took on a medieval collosus ( France) through better organization and *decades* of planning and logisitical organization.

Akatsukami said...

"Of course the world would speak some version of French ,not english, because god only knows the "English" aristocracy and bureauracy of the time spoke and wrote someting far closer to French than what ever the local english dialect was."

Nope; true earlier, but by the 15th century the use of French in England had died out (except for some technical terminology in the courts). Edward III (Henry's great-grandfather) probably spoke Anglo-Norman (a dialect that had low mutual comprehensibility with medieval Parisian French), but Shakespeare was accurate in portraying Henry as struggling to learn French as an adult to do some perfunctory wooing of Charles VI's daughter Katherine.

What language a Lancastrian Anglo-French Empire would have ended up speaking is questionable; I think that you could make as good a case for English (through elite domination) as for French (through superiority of numbers).