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Malcolm Vale: Agincourt, 19 May 2016

The Hundred Years War, Vol. IV: Cursed Kings 
by Jonathan Sumption.
Faber, 909 pp., £40, August 2015, 978 0 571 27454 3
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Agincourt 
by Anne Curry.
Oxford, 272 pp., £18.99, August 2015, 978 0 19 968101 3
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The Battle of Agincourt 
edited by Anne Curry and Malcolm Mercer.
Yale, 344 pp., £30, October 2015, 978 0 300 21430 7
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24 Hours at Agincourt: 25 October 1415 
by Michael Jones.
W.H. Allen, 352 pp., £20, September 2015, 978 0 7535 5545 3
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Agincourt: Henry V, the Man-at-Arms and the Archer 
by W.B. Bartlett.
Amberley, 447 pp., £20, September 2015, 978 1 4456 3949 9
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... in the Tower of London. The accompanying lavishly produced catalogue, edited by Anne Curry and Malcolm Mercer, contains 24 contributions from a distinguished cast of historians, including three from France. Rowena Archer, in a piece on war widows, notes the appalling casualty rate in some French noble families. The Craon family from Anjou, which had a ...

Short Cuts

James Meek: Fan-Owned Politics, 1 June 2017

... rebel. They do, when their clubs face a severe enough threat. Revolts at Manchester United over Malcolm Glazer’s loading debt onto the club and at Wimbledon FC over the club’s owners moving the team 56 miles away to Milton Keynes resulted in the creation of new, breakaway clubs, FC United of Manchester and AFC Wimbledon. In 1990, in Edinburgh, Wallace ...

Dining with Ivan the Terrible

Malcolm Gaskill: Seeking London’s Fortune, 8 February 2018

London’s Triumph: Merchant Adventurers and the Tudor City 
by Stephen Alford.
Allen Lane, 316 pp., £20, April 2017, 978 0 241 00358 9
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... in Norfolk since the late 14th century; his father, Sir Richard, was a cloth merchant (or mercer), who had thrived first on the patronage of Cardinal Wolsey and then of Thomas Cromwell, and had been knighted for his success in procuring foreign loans. Richard even had the nerve to ask Henry VIII to honour one of Wolsey’s unpaid debts. His son, born ...

Amigos

Christopher Ricks, 2 August 1984

The Faber Book of Parodies 
edited by Simon Brett.
Faber, 383 pp., £8.95, May 1984, 0 571 13125 5
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Lilibet: An Account in Verse of the Early Years of the Queen until the Time of her Accession 
by Her Majesty.
Blond and Briggs, 95 pp., £6.95, May 1984, 0 85634 157 6
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... the wrong size.                                      (June Mercer Langfield) Such laughter is submarine but not profound, and anyway has very little to do with parody. But then it is often hard to tell whether Brett is an incompetent anthologist, or whether his parodists are incompetent, or both. Under Tennyson, there ...

If everybody had a Wadley

Terry Castle: ‘Joe’ Carstairs, the ‘fastest woman on water’, 5 March 1998

The Queen of Whale Cay: The Eccentric Story of ‘Joe’ Carstairs, Fastest Woman on Water 
by Kate Summerscale.
Fourth Estate, 248 pp., £12.99, August 1997, 1 85702 360 9
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... a beautiful man, smoked cigars, and was pursued from race to race by a gaggle of female fans. (Sir Malcolm Campbell of Bluebird fame called her – apparently without irony – ‘the greatest sportsman I know’.) Special ‘friends’ included the lesbian actresses Tallulah Bankhead and Gwen Farrar. Carstairs, the Evening News reported in 1925, could ...

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