King Henry V
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Jul 11, 2014 - 222 pages
Henry V is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1599. It tells the story of King Henry V of England, focusing on events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Years' War.The play is the final part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2. The original audiences would thus have already been familiar with the title character, who was depicted in the Henry IV plays as a wild, undisciplined lad known as "Prince Harry" and by Falstaff as "Hal."Henry V (9 August 1386 - 31 August 1422) was King of England from 1413 until his death at the age of 36 in 1422. He was the second English monarch of the House of Lancaster.In his youth, Henry gained military experience fighting the Welsh during the revolt of Owain Glyndwr, and against the powerful aristocratic House of Percy of Northumberland, at the Battle of Shrewsbury. Henry later came into political conflict with his father, Henry IV, whose health was increasingly precarious from 1405 onward, and who had consequently started to withdraw from government functions. After his father's death in 1413, Henry assumed control of the country, and asserted the pending English claims to the French throne.In 1415, Henry embarked on war with France in the ongoing Hundred Years' War (1337-1453) between the two nations. His military successes culminated in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt (1415) and saw him come close to conquering France. Taking advantage of political divisions within France, he conquered large portions of the kingdom, and Normandy became English for the first time in 200 years. After months of negotiation with Charles VI of France, the Treaty of Troyes (1420) recognised Henry V as regent and heir apparent to the French throne, and he was subsequently married to Charles's daughter, Catherine of Valois (1401-1437).Following Henry V's sudden and unexpected death in France two years later, he was succeeded by his infant son, who reigned as Henry VI in England and Henry II in France. The lack of unity and of a political consensus in Henry VI's regency government, coupled with his subsequent ineffectual rule, would jeopardize Henry V's gains and undermine English rule in France.