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Mar 19

The Battle of Agincourt by Laurel O’Donnell

Please welcome Laurel O’Donnell, a writer who shares my passion for all things medieval. She’s also one of my fellow authors from Love Historicals.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Anna. Today, I’d like to tell you about the Battle of Agincourt.

My medieval romance, The Angel and the Prince takes place during the One Hundred Years War between England and France. It started in 1337 and ended in 1453. All of the battles during the war were fought on French soil. One of these battles was the Battle of Agincourt. This battle is one of the turning points in The Angel and the Prince as well as the war.

The battle of Agincourt was fought in a narrow strip of open land between the woods of Tramecourt and Agincourt. The English were hopelessly outnumbered, with some estimates being the French army having 50,000 men and the English army 10,000. The English were tired from marching and many in their ranks were ill. The night before the battle, King Henry V ordered all his men to silence in order to stay focused.

The French were confident of victory, not merely because of the size of their army, but also because of the number of nobles who considered themselves better then the English archers. The chronicler Edmond de Dyntner states there were “ten French nobles against one English.”

On the morning of the battle, King Henry gave a speech, rousing the spirits of the weary Englishmen. He told them the French had boasted they would cut off three fingers from the right hand of every archer, so he could never draw a longbow again.

The field of battle, that narrow strip of open land, was muddy from recent heavy rains. This favored the English whose armor was lighter. A French monk of St. Denis describes the French troops “marching through the middle of the mud where they sank up to their knees. So they were already overcome with fatigue even before they advanced against the enemy”. Once knocked to the ground, the fully armored French knights would have a hard time getting back to their feet to fight. Some knights, so overly encumbered by their armor, actually drowned in their helmets.

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In The Angel and the Prince, Ryen de Bouriez, the heroine and French knight, voices her concerns of the coming battle to her brother, Andre:

As banners were furled around lances and knights began to remove their rain-drenched armor, Andre returned to Ryen’s side, nudging his horse up beside hers. “You’re shivering. You should get out of those wet clothes,” he murmured.

Ryen barely heard him. She felt her horse slide and looked down. Thick mud sucked at the animal’s feet, engulfing his hooves. She scanned the field to see that all around them the ground was wet, and as the men and horses trod through the camp they created even more mud. On either side of them, rows of trees stood tall and majestic, encroaching upon the field as if they were anxious to see the upcoming battle. “This field is not suitable to battle the English. We should retreat to more solid ground,” Ryen said.

Andre was silent for a moment as his gaze swept the field.

“The ground is slick and with the weight of our armor, let alone our horses, I’m afraid that we will have trouble,” she added.

He looked across the field to the English camp. “Henry’s men have traveled a long way. They are tired and far from home. They will be easy to defeat.”

“The field is too narrow, the men packed in too tightly. We will have trouble using the archers. I can’t see what the constable is thinking, waging battle here,” Ryen mused.

“I disagree with you. With all our men, how can we possibly lose?”

Ryen glanced at him, her brow creased.

“Do not worry, Ryen. The coming morn will bring our victory.”

That arrogance will be the downfall of the French, Ryen thought.

She looked away from the messengers to study the French positions. The constable had placed the army between Tramecourt on their left and Agincourt on their right, thus firmly blocking the English army’s route to Calais. But the field before them was restricted to about three quarters of a mile by the woods that fringed the two villages.

She frowned as she noticed that most of the French nobility seemed to have pushed themselves to the front of the line in their eagerness to participate in the expected massacre of Henry and his army. The dukes, counts, and barons had displaced many of the lowborn archers and crossbow men who were so crucial to the successful execution of the battle plan; how could they be effective if they were too far back from the line of attack? She shook her head.

“Did you hear that the constable has promised to cut off three fingers of the right hand of every archer taken prisoner so that none of them will ever draw a bow against us again?”

Ryen turned to see Andre stepping out of the tent. She pretended she hadn’t heard his query. The idea turned her stomach. “I have an ill feeling about this battle, Andre,” Ryen said, staring into the distance toward the enemy.

Ryen was right. On October 25th, 1415, the English defeated the French in one of the most famous battles in the one Hundred Years War, the battle of Agincourt.

You can find The Angel and The Prince at these eretailers –

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004LGTR1M/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/angel-and-the-prince-laurel-odonnell/1103283832?ean=2940012658135

Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/43126

IBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-angel-and-the-prince/id429817999?mt=11

All Romance Ebooks – http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-theangelandtheprince-575830-161.html

Kobo – http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/books/The-Angel-and-the-Prince/iYMAkfuCckK1zbStjrd8Og

 

Here’s a quick blurb for the book.

In this exciting medieval romance, the French lady knight known as the Angel of Death wages a battle of wills and desires against her dreaded enemy — the English warrior known as the Prince of Darkness.

Ryen De Bouriez is a French warrior, dedicated to protecting her country against the hated English. In place of glittering ball gowns, she wears shining armor. Instead of practicing the gentler arts, she wields a sword. Those who whisper her name in fear and awe call her the Angel of Death.

Bryce Princeton is the Prince of Darkness, an English knight sent by his king to find and destroy their most hated adversary — the Angel of Death. Little does he know that his enemy is no man at all, but a beautiful woman who will challenge his heart and honor at every turn.

Forced to choose between love and honor, the Angel and the Prince wage a battle of wills that challenges everything they have ever believed in.

Please visit me at www.laurel-odonnell.com to find more medieval books! And thanks again, Anna, for giving me the opportunity to share a little about The Angel and The Prince!

Thank you, Laurel. I loved your book. It’s one of the few I’ve read more than once-a rarity for me.

 

15 comments

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  1. Sylvia

    Hi Laurel, I love the information on the Battle of Agincourt. I read the Bernard Cornwell novel about the battle and it was fascinating.(but a little more violent than any romance I’ve ever read 🙂 Thanks for the passages from your book, it looks fascinating with a lady knight! Sylvia

    1. Laurel ODonnell

      Sylvia –
      Glad you enjoyed it. It was fun to write a female knight with her own dreaded reputation as the Angel of Death. She matches wits with the Prince of Darkness (Bryce Princeton), an English knight. It was, indeed, a bloody battle.
      Laurel

  2. Elizabeth Rose

    Laurel,
    Great blog, I loved it. Can’t wait to read Angel and the Prince!

    1. Laurel ODonnell

      Thanks Liz! It’s a great read. 🙂 Nominated for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart award.
      Laurel

  3. Laurel ODonnell

    Anna –
    Thanks for letting me share my knowledge of the Battle of Agincourt and a little about my novel!
    Laurel

  4. Lana Williams

    Great post, Laurel. I love this particular period in history! I look forward to reading this story!

    1. Laurel ODonnell

      Thanks, Lana. I hope you’ll let me know what you think! It was a lot of fun to write. I enjoyed writing the hero, a French knight.
      Laurel

  5. Reggi

    Hi Laurel,
    Your book is new to me as except for Anna’s wonderful books I usually read regency, suspense or contemporary novels. But your book is tempting me, I may have to read it. : ) Best, Reggi

    1. Laurel ODonnell

      Reggi –
      The Angel and The Prince was my first novel. It was originally published by Kensington Books. I hope you pick up a copy. It was nominated for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart award. Have I convinced you yet? 🙂
      Laurel

  6. Gemma Juliana

    Sounds like an engaging read, Laurel. I love the concept of a French woman as a knight. Very creative! I wish you great success with this new novel.

    1. Laurel ODonnell

      Hi Gemma –
      The strong female knight heroine was a lot of fun to write. Equal to the hero, an English knight, she certainly holds her own.
      Laurel

  7. Melissa Keir

    I loved learning more about the history of this war. I think it’s interesting to see how history does repeat itself. I’m really interested in reading about a female knight.

    1. Laurel ODonnell

      Hi Melissa –
      Ryen, the French knight heroine, was fun to write. Even from the beginning when she is knighted by the King, she is strong willed and a bit defiant.
      Laurel

  8. Sydney

    Hi Laurel,
    Great post. What an awful way for a knight to perish, drowning in his own helmet! Your passage captured the tension before battle. I can’t wait to read about Ryen and Bryce. Great premise!
    Best wishes!

    1. Laurel ODonnell

      Hi Sydney –
      It was a very bloody battle. But what intrigued me was that the underdog won. England won the battle even though they were vastly outnumbered. I had Ryen, who was a French knight, bring up valid points, points that led to the French’s downfall.
      Laurel

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