CROSS-POSTED REVIEW: The Medieval Review 16.07.09 Livingston and DeVries, The Battle of Crecy (Bachrach)

David Silbey's picture

"Livingston, Michael and Kelly DeVries, eds. <i>The Battle of Crécy: A Casebook</i>. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2015. Pp. xiv, 524. $34.29. ISBN: 978-1-781-38270-7.

  Reviewed by David S. Bachrach
       University of New Hampshire

On 26 August 1346, an exhausted and hungry English army under the command of King Edward III (1327-1377) won a major victory over the larger French force commanded by Philip VI of France (1328-1350) near the town of Crécy in the region of Ponthieu. Edward III had been on the offensive in France for the better part of a decade, and his major naval victory at the battle of Sluys in 1340 had made it possible for the English ruler to bring forces across the channel with very little opposition from the French. However, Crécy was the first major battle between the English and French kings during this initial phase of what ultimately would become known as the Hundred Years War. The scale of the one-sided English victory made a great impression on contemporaries and word about the battle spread rapidly throughout Europe. Reports about the battle of Crécy were included in scores of contemporary accounts, not only in England and France, but also in the lands of their allies in the Low Countries and the German Empire, as well as in Italy. Many more accounts appeared over the following decades and then centuries. Over time, stories about the events of the battle developed into myths, and these myths hardened into accepted truths, such as King Philip's military ineptitude and even the location of the battle, itself."

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