In 1346, during the Hundred Years' War, King Edward III of England made landfall in Normandy and led an army through the northern part of France, burning, killing, and inflicting terror--ultimately culminating in the Battle of Crecy, where he defeated the vastly outnumbering French army, before laying siege to Calais.
This book is extremely readable, no doubt about that. While there are endnotes for each chapter and a listing of its references at the back, this is not a pretentiously written book at all. The language is straightforward and clearly communicates the information in the vernacular of the layperson. It gives a brief overview of the history of the main players and of the conflict, as well as the preparations leading up to the landing. Then it's a day-by-day account of the progress of the English army and the response by the French. There are victories and defeats by both sides along the way, and we clearly understand what's at stake and the consequences of their actions.
If I were to pick some faults, one would have to be the endless listing of names, even though some are only minor players. It seems as if there was a record of the person being there 700 years ago, so they may as well include it. This made it difficult to understand or remember who was who, as few people stood out above others. Another minor annoyance was the insistence on the part of the writers to include the king's meal as the last paragraph to almost every day. Again, the record existed, so they included it, but a summary every two weeks mentioning the change in diet as their food stocks changed and depleted would've been more palatable.
I can't comment on the historical accuracy or any unusual opinions in the book because I know very little about the people, the time period, or the battle. However, I can recommend this book to anyone looking for a good description of the events and an enjoyable read. The only thing now would be to find a book written more from the French perspective to counter any bias and to get a better understanding of the local impact of that campaign.
Published Jan. 8, 2005 by Pearson/Longman.