Book Review: Crécy (Ellis, Caceres)

No, that most definitely isn't a peace sign.

“…hundreds of years from now, no-one’s going to understand. No-one will understand how much of their modern warfare comes from this night and this field.”

Warren Ellis, my good sir, you are right. Because before picking up this gem of a historical graphic nonfiction, I had never heard of Crécy. But I have now. Oh, have I now.

This book is unforgettable. It is the most enthralling account of any piece of history that I have ever read. It is crude, disillusioning, and not peppered but liberally salted with all manner of offensive language. You will not believe in chivalry after reading this book. It is pretty funny, though.

Charming.

We are taken through our journey in learning about this most definitive battle by a longbowman peasant by the name of William of Stonham. He is “a complete bloody xenophobe” with a mouth so foul it would put “I’m On A Boat” to shame. He isn’t a nice man, and you won’t fall in love with him like you sometimes do with characters. In his

own filthy, perverse way, though, he’s… charming.

Primarily, Crécy examines exactly how the British underdogs were able to invade France, carve up the countryside for a while, and then take a stand at Crécy and absolutely massacre the French army in August of 1346. And I am not exaggerating when I use the word massacre. The figures our good William presents us with in the last few pages are jaw-dropping. It’s a rather incredible picture that is painted for us.

So if you can handle the distinct “M” rating, I would definitely recommend this, whether or not you like history. Four stars.

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