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Henry V : The Conscience of a King (Hardcover) (Malcolm Vale)

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Shakespeare’s centuries-old portrayal of Henry V established the king’s reputation as a warmongering monarch, a perception that has persisted ever since. But in this exciting, thoroughly researched volume a different view of Henry emerges: a multidimensional ruler of great piety, a hands-on governor who introduced a radically new conception of England’s European role in secular and ecclesiastical affairs, a lover of music and art, and a dutiful king who fully appreciated his duties toward those he ruled. Historian Malcolm Vale draws on extensive primary archival evidence that includes many documents annotated or endorsed in Henry’s own hand. Focusing on a series of themes—the interaction between king and Church, the rise of the English language as a medium of government and politics, the role of ceremony in Henry’s kingship, and more—Vale revises understandings of Henry V and the matters that concerned him most as he conducted the everyday business of England.

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