This biography presents a radical reassessment of Henry V as a brutal warmonger.
In the course of the Hundred Years War, Henry V was the English figure most responsible
for the mutual antipathy that existed between French and Anglo-Saxon. His pursuit
of "dampnum" the art of attacking an opponent by making total war on civilians as
well as soldiers, created tremendous distrust and enmity between the French and English,
which survives unto this day. He was a man of many contradictions, a perverse mix
or rigorous orthodoxy - exemplified by his fanatical and intolerant religion - and
of neurotic insecurity, stemming in part from the dubious nature of his claim to
the English throne. Henry V owed his popularity to victories against the French which
gratified the emerging English nationalism. A tremendously ardent military strategist
who experimented with ballistics and built a navy with new carved planking, at the
time of his early death at the age of 36 he ruled a third of France. Utilizing the
discoveries of local French historical societies, Seward intends to draw a portrait
of Henry V largely from the experience of the French.