600 years ago, the bells of Westminster Abbey rang out as word arrived in London that Henry V had defeated the French in Agincourt. 600 years later to the very day, the bells pealed out again to commemorate a medieval battle where the English were vastly outnumbered but still came home victorious.
This week, historians around the world are gearing up to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, one of the most significant battles of the Hundred Year’s War.
It is hard at times to take the Agincourt Carol entirely seriously. Patriotism of such brash exuberance seems more properly to belong in a brightly lit Laurence Olivier world of mid twentieth-century medievalism than amid the grim and tangled realities of fifteenth- century politics and war.