Shakespeare and Greenwich | The Shakespeare blog

The remains of the Tudor palace at Greenwich

There is something special about the place where important events took place, no matter how long ago. Even where there are no remaining signs on the ground people still visit: perhaps the draw is that these sites make us use our imaginations so strongly.

It’s always surprising to find bits of the London that Shakespeare knew beneath…

Source: Shakespeare and Greenwich | The Shakespeare blog

SLAUGHTER IN THE MUD: HENRY V AT AGINCOURT

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with meShall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition; And gentlemen in England now-a-bed Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”

The St. Crispin’s Day speech, which the Immortal Bard places in the mouth of his hero, King Henry V of England, is one of the great battle speeches in history. Though likely Shakespeare‘s invention, it brilliantly portrays a young, inspiring commander attempting to hearten his starving and dispirited Army; in desperate straits as it faces battle against a superior force. Whatever (if anything) Henry may have actually said that fateful morning in October is lost to history. But what is not lost is how he, and his tiny force of desperate men, stood firmly on the muddy field of Agincourt and…

Source: SLAUGHTER IN THE MUD: HENRY V AT AGINCOURT

Have we found King Henry V’s great ship the Holigost?

The Historic England Blog

A historic shipwreck discovered in a ‘medieval breaker’s yard’ in Hampshire is likely to be the remains of 600-year old warship, the Holigost. But what do we know about it?

Dr Ian Friel is a historian and expert advisor to Historic England.The Holigost was one of four famous vessels known as the ‘great ships’, the biggest built in medieval England. These impressive warships were a symbol of royal power, built specifically to open the way for an English invasion of France. They were the personal property of King Henry V and the closest thing he had to a state navy. Completed between 1415 and 1420 these ships were the Trinity Royal, the Jesus, the Grace Dieu and the Holigost; their names bear witness to Henry’s personal devotion to the Holy Trinity.

The wreck thought to be the Holigost has been found alongside the Grace Dieu

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Guest Blog: Meeting Catherine – My Journey from Shakespeare’s ‘Henry V’ to ‘Catherine de Valois’

Interesting Literature

By Laurel A. Rockefeller

Henry V is one of the most beloved plays of all time. Though mostly about King Henry’s war with France and his victory at Agincourt on 25th October 1415, the play introduces us to Henry V’s future queen Catherine de Valois from Henry’s decidedly biased point of view.

But was Shakespeare’s version of Queen Catherine truly historical?

Following my successful launch of my short biography Boudicca: Britain’s Queen of the Iceni aimed at primary- and middle-school children in March, I decided to take on this very question. What I discovered along the way now makes me wonder how Shakespeare ever kept his head on his shoulders in light of the fact that Queen Elizabeth I was Catherine’s – but not King Henry’s – descendant.

Catherine_of_FranceCatherine de Valois was born 27th October 1401 in Paris, the youngest daughter of the paranoid schizophrenic King Charles VI and…

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The Scar of Henry V

Fascinating perspective on how the Prince of Wales’ arrow injury at 16 might have affected his later behaviour as heir to the throne and his reign as Henry V.
Henry V on Amazon

Matt's History Blog

On 21st July 1403, a rebel army led by Sir Henry Percy, known as Harry Hotspur, son of the 1st Earl of Northumberland, gave battle to the forces of King Henry IV. The somewhat beleaguered monarch was supported by his oldest son and heir, Henry of Monmouth, Prince of Wales, who was only 16 years of age. This young man was later to become the legendary king of Agincourt fame, “Hammer of the Gauls” as his tomb inscription lauds him. That sunny day was darkened by clouds of arrows and rang with the screams of many dead. It may also have defined the future Henry V as we remember him.

The background to the Percy rebellion was a mounting list of grievances that they felt was going unaddressed. They had been loyal to the new regime initially, but went unpaid for their ongoing defence of the troublesome and perilous Scottish…

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