Malcolm Vale

Malcolm Vale is an emeritus research fellow at St John’s College, Oxford. His book on Henry V will be published later this year.

‘It​ was the common man, after all, who was doing all the dirty work in the war and the army. He deserved a fanfare.’ This is how Aaron Copland explained his Fanfare for the Common Man, composed in 1942 for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. If any theme links the books discussed here, it is the victory of the ‘common man’ – as represented by English and Welsh...

At​ the Battle of Shrewsbury, in 1403, the 16-year-old Prince of Wales was hit in the face by an arrow. It was not a glancing blow. The bolt pierced his cheek to a depth of six inches,...

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