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   Will a Frenchman Fight?
   Deeds of Arms, Volume 4
 

Price: $24.95
Item Number: FAP000033
ISBN: 978-1-937439-17-0
Dimensions: 7" x 10" B&W Paperback
Pages: viii + 102 pp.
Published: October, 2015

The rulers of both England and France had reason to be unhappy as the 1380s dawned. Although the French regime was in better shape than it had been in a while, the country still lay open to English attack and the populace was angry about it. The English regime was no happier; it was futilely trying to realize the gains seemingly promised by the victory at Poitiers back in 1356. This had been its constant occupation for a quarter century, but ultimate success seemed as far away as ever.

Will a Frenchman Fight? describes a campaign of the Hundred Years War in 1380–1 in which a variety of different kinds of combat and different motives for fighting are evident. The campaign itself was a great chevauchée, or raid, by the English through France and though it had its practical goals, it was also a striking illustration of the place of chivalric self- image in shaping warfare. The English hoped to weaken their opponents by demonstrating that the French king, Charles V, could not defend his subjects. The French king had practical reasons for wishing to avoid spectacular but dangerous set battles similar to Crecy and Poitiers—battles that had been catastrophic for the French. Avoiding battle, however, had its price. If enough people in France concluded that the English were right in their scorn for royal power, that power would be significantly reduced.

In the fourth volume of the Deeds of Arms series, Professor Muhlberger demonstrates that although Charles V's strategy for avoiding battle was prudent, it was unpopular, showing how considerations of war, peace and personal honor were tightly bound together, and that direct confrontation of man against man or army against army was the most satisfying way of settling such issues. Color illustrations, maps, and a comprehensive bibliography complement this fascinating text.

 

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