Monday, 21 March 2011
God for Harry?
Shakespeare compressed the events of several years into his play. The victory at Agincourt was followed by protracted negotiations; it was not until 1420 that the treaty of Troyes secured for Henry Catherine de Valois as his wife and the promise of the French crown after the death of the then king, Charles VI.
Henry’s military success proved ephemeral; he had to spend the remainder of his reign fighting to hold onto his conquests. He died of dysentery in 1422 while on campaign in France.
Henry’s death when his son was an infant of nine months led to a long period of unstable government and ultimately to the Wars of the Roses. Henry might have served his country better if he had stayed at home, where he might have lived until his son reached his majority.