The Black Prince and the Capture of a King

Poitiers 1356

Morgen Witzel, Marilyn Livingstone

A new detailed account of the battle of Poitiers in 1356 which saw one of the most sensational episodes of the Hundred Years War: the capture of the French King Jean by the Black Prince.
Publication date:
May 2018
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Language:
English
Illustration :
16 pages of b/w photos
Format Available     Quantity Price
Hardback
ISBN : 9781612004518

Dimensions : 228 X 152 cm
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£25.00

Overview
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• The most detailed account of the famous English victory ever committed to print
• Chronicles the lead up to the battle, the battle itself and the aftermath of King Jean's capture

The capture of a king in the course of a battle was a relatively rare event. This, the climactic event of the Black Prince's first campaign as commander, came at the end of nearly of a year of campaigning across the southwest of France.

The battle of Poitiers in 1356 is less well known than more famous clashes such as Agincourt, however, Poitiers was no less dramatic, and equally important in terms of the course of the Hundred Years War. The capture of King Jean brought France to the brink of total defeat, and led to one of the most devastating and destructive periods in French history. It is not exaggeration to say that the battle of Poitiers changed the course of history for both France and England.

In the summer of 1356 the Prince and his army drove northward towards the Loire, attacking once again deep into French territory. This time he met real opposition: the full French army led by King Jean and many of the leading nobility of France, some of them veterans of the defeat at Crécy ten years before. Outnumbered, the Prince fell back, but in September he turned near the city of Poitiers to make a stand.

The battle that followed was a tense encounter. The French had learned much from the disastrous defeat at Crécy, and took time to organise and prepare before attacking. Their advance was deliberate and well planned. Yet the result was the same. Once again, English and Welsh archers wrought mayhem among the French ranks. The French formations disintegrated, and a violent counter-attack by English men-at-arms caused it to dissolve entirely. King Jean and his eldest son made a final stand with some of their followers, but in the end they were forced to surrender and were taken back to England as prisoners.

The core of the book is a day-by-description of the campaign of July-September 1356, climaxing with a detailed description of the Battle of Poitiers itself. The detailed account and analysis of the battle and the campaigns that led up to it has a strong focus on the people involved in the campaign: ordinary men-at-arms and non-combatants as well as princes and nobles.