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Conquest

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  169 ratings  ·  32 reviews
In her best-selling Agincourt, Juliet Barker gave us the definitive narrative of Henry V’s extraordinary victory over the French. Now, in Conquest, she tells the equally remarkable, but largely forgotten, story of the dramatic years when England ruled France at the point of a sword.

Henry V’s second invasion of France in 1417 launched a campaign that would put the crown of
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Hardcover, 485 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Little Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 533)
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happy
Ms. Barker has delivered a very readable account of the last 35 yrs or so of the 100 Years War between France and England. She tells the story of Henry V’s successful invasion and conquest of Northern France starting 2 years after his great victory at Agincourt.

She tells the tale of English military and political power that easily defeats the French in 1417-19 culminating in the French King naming Henry his Heir, the slow slipping away of that military power, culminating with the easy reconquest
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Matt Brady
This is a comprehensive, and sometimes exhausting, history of what Barker terms the “English Kingdom of France”, beginning with Henry V’s lightning conquests of 1417, capturing all of Normandy, and Paris itself, and ending with the surrender of the final English garrison in Normandy in 1450. Though many English Kings had held lands in France, and had also laid claim to the French crown for the last century, this was a unique period of the Hundred Years War. Thanks to England’s stunning victories ...more
anna
This book changed my perspective of the later half of the Hundred Years War utterly. Before reading this my knowledge of this era was limited, and my opinion was based heavily upon (it shames me to admit) American movies. To my knowledge, there are few books that cover this period in its entirety, and this is, in my opinion, the best.

John of Bedford, the brother of Henry V, and regent of France after his death, was, I believed a ruthless tyrant. In reality as this book reveals he was a Francophi
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John Allgood
This book left me a bit overwhelmed. There is a vast amount of detail but I found myself lost amongst the research. The book covers the 100 Years War after the battle of Agincourt until the eventual French victory. While Joan of Arc is included, she is primarily a secondary figure in the book and I was left wanting more about her. I came away from the book realizing that Henry VI was the opposite of his father and his weakness brought the end of the "English Kingdom of France" as well as led to ...more
Lucas
As I am not an historian of the Hundred Years' War, I am not qualified to comment on Barker's scholarship, and thus will be reviewing this book as something I merely picked up to read for pleasure.

Barker's 'Conquest' tells the story, primarily from the English perspective, of the establishment of the English kingdom of France by Henry V following the Battle of Agincourt to its eventual fall. The narrative is easy to read and yet fairly well-referenced. The chapters tend to be rather short (12-15
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Louise
Recently having finished The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc I wanted to know more of this period. There is clearly good scholarship here, but as a general reader, it was the wrong book for me.

The early parts about Henry V's conquest and Joan of Arc's intervention were the best. They were interesting to read and added perspective on both and on their respective roles in history. This may be just my impression because I have background for both, and my preference is always b
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Raymond Brown
I just read the recently released US version. This book picks up where Ms. Barker's previous book ended: Agincourt.
This remarkable story tells of the years after the famous Battle of Agincourt up until the English were expelled from all of France except Calais.
This story was personal for me in that, in this story I learn of the death of one of my wife's ancestors at the Battle of Bauge in France Sir Gilbert de Umfreville. This was a battle that had the benefit of the alliance with the Scottish f
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Lauren Albert
I realized I knew surprisingly little about the 100 years war. While I sometimes found myself lost in all of the new-to-me detail, it was overall an interesting narrative.
Steve
Jul 19, 2012 Steve added it
It was an interesting book that discussed a rather turbulent and forgotten period.

Oddly enough, in the book Barker goes out of her way to downgrade the importance of Joan of Arc. Joan has actually almost nothing to do with the great French victory that knocks the English back on their heels and is the beginning of the downfall of the 'English Kingdom of France'.

The book has a lot of characters and a lot of sieges of various towns and cities which are difficult to follow without a good map (and
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Simon Clare
Great holiday reading. Despite there being a quite staggering amount of information in this book, it's written in such a way that it doesn't take much effort to enjoy it. The hundred years war was so much more messy than I realised and although I'm unlikely to remember even 10% of the detail, I now have a far better understanding of the events.
Allison
15th c. England and France...such a thrilling period in history. The book was very well researched. Unfortunately, it does not hold up as well stylistically when compared to Barker's earlier work on Agincourt. The book quickly devolved into a series of dry paragraphs with dates, names and places. Familiarity with medieval Normandy and other parts of NW France in order to follow all of the back and forth is helpful. All is not lost, however, because there were several highlights, namely the event ...more
Daniel Farabaugh
I was barely able to get through this book. I stopped reading it for a while and then picked it up again. It is factual and extremely dry. The details of the war are well covered but it does not build the human interest well.
Alan Clark
I did not enjoy this book as much as Barker's book about Agincourt. It covers the remainder of the Hundred Years War, whose most famous aspect is the story of Joan of Arx. however, she has quite a brief mention as she actually played only a fairly minor part in the downfall of the English kingdom, which is largely due to Henry VI's pacifism, lack of motivation lack of ability.
So the book lacks the Big Story, and is instead largely about complicated political wheeling and dealing, involving coun
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Bas Kreuger
Barkers Agincourt book promised much for this one. But I am a bit disappointed. There isn't as much analysis and historical background in Conquest as there was in Agincourt as that makes it a much duller book to read, at least for me.
About 400 pages of the day to day history of the struggle between France (the Armagnac faction, incidentally my aunts!) and England gets repetetive at a certain point.
A somewhat shorter book, focussing more on the grand history and less on the petit histoire would h
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Lauren
Barker obviously knows her subject well, but for me tries to cram too much into too short a book. There are a few chapters where the narrative becomes just a list of military commanders and sieges, which are meaningless to a reader without prior knowledge of the 100 years war conflict. For me, Barker is most successful when she uses anecdotes that really give the reader a sense of the personalities involved. Certainly not a bad account of the final stage in the 100 years war, but falls short of ...more
Roberto Calas
Clear, entertaining and detailed account of England's stormy and temporary rule over parts of France. Barker has a flair for making the history come alive. She does this in a clear, straightforward way. The time period is cluttered with events and a vast array of characters and Barker guides us through it with skill and drama. Great for anyone with a love for The Hundred Years War, or Joan of Arc, who has her own section in the book.
Jason Clark
I found this a complex book, but very enjoyable. It gave a thorough idea of what warfare and life must have been like in the last years of the war with France. Not as readable as ’Agincourt’, perhaps because the time period covered was much more extensive. I would have liked a longer last chapter covering what happened to Henry VI - lots of the dominant figures in the book were written off in a few short paragraphs.
Guy Hauldren
Top reading, if not quite as interesting as her first book Agincourt, but I think that's mainly due to the story mainly being one of administration, rather than a military campaign. But there's plenty of action and frenchman getting filled with longbow arrows to keep the reader entertained ;)
Tom
got tedious at times
Mike Dixon
A first class book about a neglected period in the history of France and England. Perhaps so little has been written in the English language because the period saw the French people unite and shake off the menace from the other side of the English Channel.
Susan Paxton
An excellent followup to her definitive history of Agincourt, Barker ably covers the last years of the Hundred Years War. Her research in contemporary chronicles and records makes this likely the most accurate history of the period we're likely to ever have.
James
A good read on an oft not covered chapter in history (usually as a side story to Joan of Arc or the War of the Roses). However, it is far more jingoistic than her previous book, Agincourt, which I felt was far more even handed.
Jenifer Miller
I thought this book was a little dry, but it did include a different spin on the Maid of Orleans and made me wonder if Europe would be a different place today had Henry V managed to live a few years more.
Terra Palewicz


Parts of this book were very compelling, but other parts were not so much. The research is very impressive, and for the most part very interesting. Overall I enjoyed it.
Annika
A great read, interesting, well-researched and with convincing conclusions. This book gives a great overview about a part of history which should get more coverage.
Brian
It was a good history of the second half of the Hundred Years War and it was easy to follow despite not being that familiar with the subject matter.
Yiyuk Alatorre
Well written. Well researched. Just wish that there would of been a few more maps showing the movements of the armies, etc.
Aaron
Jul 24, 2013 Aaron rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ebook
Doesn't have as strong of a narrative line as her earlier book that focused on Henry V, but a worthwhile read.
Mark
Tended to be a fairly straight narrative of events at time - which became a bit tiresome to read.
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Juliet R. V. Barker (born 1958) is a British historian, specialising in the Middle Ages and literary biography. She is the author of a number of well-regarded works on the Brontës, William Wordsworth, and medieval tournaments. From 1983 to 1989 she was the curator and librarian of the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

Barker was educated at Bradford Girls' Grammar School and St Anne's College, Oxford, where
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More about Juliet Barker...
The Brontës Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle That Made England The Brontës: A Life in Letters Wordsworth: A Life England, Arise: The People, the King and the Great Revolt of 1381

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