My first debt is to two Benedictine monks, Dom Marcel Pierrot and Dom Jean Bequet of Ligugé, who took me over the battlefield of Poitiers sixteen years ago. I am sincerely grateful to them for starting my interest in the Hundred Years War, and to their monastery for its memorable hospitality.
I am especially indebted to Mr Reresby Sitwell for much encouragement, for many useful ideas, and for reading the typescript and the proofs; to Mrs Prudence Fay for her invaluable editorial criticisms; to Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk for the suggestion that Charles VI’s madness may have been caused by porphyria; and to Commander W. F. Patterson, RN(Retd), Chairman of the Society of Archer-Antiquaries, for the diagrams of the long-bow and crossbow and for advice on the technical points of medieval bowmanship.
Among those who gave me information about the part played by their families in the Hundred Years War were Lord Mowbray, Segrave and Stourton, Lord Dunboyne and the Hon Nicholas Assheton. Lord Mowbray supplied me with material about the life of his ancestor the first Lord Stourton, who had an unusually profitable career during the later stages of the War, Lord Dunboyne provided me with details about the Butlers and other Irishmen in France, while Mr Assheton drew my attention to Sir John Assheton who served with Henry V in Normandy.
I must also thank Mr Michael Thomas, Mr Christopher Manning, Mr Hubert Witheford and Mr David Beynon, and Miss Mollie Luther who helped find the illustrations.
Finally I would like to express my gratitude to Mr Richard Bancroft of the British Library, to Mr Esmond Warner, the Honorary Librarian of Brooks’s, and to Miss E. V. Baird and Miss E. A. Hollingdale of Brighton Library.