142 Greatest Man – or Monster?

Henry Vth is a man who has a reasonable claim to be the greatest of English kings. But what did contemporaries think of him? Successful he was no doubt – but in his rigid piety and ruthlessness was he also a monster?

142 Greatest Man – or Monster

Henry VWe have arrived at one of the most famous rulers of England. Who inspired one of the most famous and talented of historians, K B McFarlane to describe him, remarkably immoderately, as "the greatest man that ever ruled England". Historians ever since have been picking away at that, because historians do so hate brave and definitive statements. And so the revisionist view goes all the way to Ian Mortimer, who as a historian is also not afraid of brave and definitive statements. So Ian basically describes Henry as a Monster. A monster "undermined by his own pride and over whelmed by his own authority’; a "wanton destroyer of lives’ and proof that "a man may be a hero and yet a monster". 


But maybe the main thing is that to contemporaries, both English and French, Henry was the model of kingship. Even to the French he looked better than their own lot. 






8 thoughts on “142 Greatest Man – or Monster?

  1. Looking forward to word of the day as a regular feature. IMho, I think at the end of the show would be the better place. Love your sense of humor, thanks for a great podcast

  2. The problem with the music was probably that its too loud. Not that its a bad idea, you never shout so when you have headphones/earphones, its scary when the music suddenly blares in your ears.

    1. Yes I tink that’s right; also themusic was too bombastic. Having said that, NOT doing it saves me a surprisingly large amount of production time I think, so it might be best to leave it in the bin of history! A lot of other podcasters do use music now though

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