Hotspur - Sir Henry Percy & the Myth of Chivalry By John Sadler

ARRSE Rating
4.00 star(s)
John Sadler is a Northumbrian, a Historian and a much-published writer on the subject of the history of warfare. The Bibliography, Glossary and Annexes to this book show the level of research he has undertaken to produce this Biography of a man we mostly know through the work of William Shakespeare. The Foreword by the present Duke of Northumberland, Ralph Percy, is very apposite.

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There’s a lot of information in this book, tales of politics, battles, alliances and treachery. I learned a lot about the involvement of the Scots in this period of English History, and how opportunist lords changed sides to gain land, power and influence for their families, rather than their nation. The tale sweeps over the island we inhabit, over a number of years (Richard II to Henry IV) and many powerful families.



It’s a very good insight into the motivations of Harry Percy, how he grew as a soldier, leader, schemer and influencer (to use a modern term). His final campaign against Henry IV came very close to success, and could have changed the course of history for England and the world. Having lived near Shrewsbury, I knew that’s where he fell in battle, but I have now learned how and why he got there, who helped, who didn’t help, and how the battle progressed.

This is a very interesting book about a time I need to learn more about. I did however find it confusing when certain individuals with more than one title were referred to by different titles at different times. It was a bit difficult to keep track of who was who. I suspect that’s a fault in me, rather than in the author though. Overall an enjoyable and informative book.



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Four mushroom heads.
 
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John Sadler is a Northumbrian, a Historian and a much-published writer on the subject of the history of warfare. The Bibliography, Glossary and Annexes to this book show the level of research he has undertaken to produce this Biography of a man we mostly know through the work of William Shakespeare. The Foreword by the present Duke of Northumberland, Ralph Percy, is very apposite.

View attachment 663084

There’s a lot of information in this book, tales of politics, battles, alliances and treachery. I learned a lot about the involvement of the Scots in this period of English History, and how opportunist lords changed sides to gain land, power and influence for their families, rather than their nation. The tale sweeps over the island we inhabit, over a number of years (Richard II to Henry IV) and many powerful families.



It’s a very good insight into the motivations of Harry Percy, how he grew as a soldier, leader, schemer and influencer (to use a modern term). His final campaign against Henry IV came very close to success, and could have changed the course of history for England and the world. Having lived near Shrewsbury, I knew that’s where he fell in battle, but I have now learned how and why he got there, who helped, who didn’t help, and how the battle progressed.

This is a very interesting book about a time I need to learn more about. I did however find it confusing when certain individuals with more than one title were referred to by different titles at different times. It was a bit difficult to keep track of who was who. I suspect that’s a fault in me, rather than in the author though. Overall an enjoyable and informative book.



Amazon product



Four mushroom heads.

Did You Know time . . . In Henry IV Shakespeare makes reference to a mild speech impediment which Hotspur had. Shakespeare doesn't attempt to describe it, but does say that it was deliberately copied by those in Northumberland who wished to curry favour with Hotspur, and from them the habit passed into the local vernacular. 150 years later Daniel Defoe also made mention,
"I must not quit Northumberland without taking notice, that the Natives of this Country, of the antient original Race or Families, are distinguished by a Shibboleth upon their Tongues in pronouncing the letter R, which they cannot utter without a hollow Jarring in the Throat, by which they are as plainly known, as a Foreigner is in pronouncing the Th: this they call the Northumberland R, or Wharle; and the Natives value themselves upon that Imperfection, because, forsooth, it shews the Antiquity of their Blood."

It is referred to as the Northumbrian Burr by phoneticists. The letter R is pronounced from the back of the throat, so that the RUH sound comes out almost as CRUH.

Like all regional accents, this is gradually dying out.
 
John Sadler is a Northumbrian, a Historian and a much-published writer on the subject of the history of warfare. The Bibliography, Glossary and Annexes to this book show the level of research he has undertaken to produce this Biography of a man we mostly know through the work of William Shakespeare. The Foreword by the present Duke of Northumberland, Ralph Percy, is very apposite.

View attachment 663084

There’s a lot of information in this book, tales of politics, battles, alliances and treachery. I learned a lot about the involvement of the Scots in this period of English History, and how opportunist lords changed sides to gain land, power and influence for their families, rather than their nation. The tale sweeps over the island we inhabit, over a number of years (Richard II to Henry IV) and many powerful families.



It’s a very good insight into the motivations of Harry Percy, how he grew as a soldier, leader, schemer and influencer (to use a modern term). His final campaign against Henry IV came very close to success, and could have changed the course of history for England and the world. Having lived near Shrewsbury, I knew that’s where he fell in battle, but I have now learned how and why he got there, who helped, who didn’t help, and how the battle progressed.

This is a very interesting book about a time I need to learn more about. I did however find it confusing when certain individuals with more than one title were referred to by different titles at different times. It was a bit difficult to keep track of who was who. I suspect that’s a fault in me, rather than in the author though. Overall an enjoyable and informative book.



Amazon product



Four mushroom heads.

Thanks for this, Hotspur and family are interesting, so this prompted yet another purchase. (Think my wife would like to ban me from reading book reviews on this site!)

This was a good book, although a little repetitive at times with some paragraphs being used more than once. Agree on his use of names and titles, would have been better if he was consistent and I felt he glossed over Hotspur’s capture and subsequent ransom, but I learnt something new about the period and I’m sure I’ll use it for later reference. The author’s depiction of medieval warfare was very well done.
 

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