In Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years’ War (Choice
TV, Monday, 8.30pm), Janina Ramirez takes on the rather large task of explaining, in three episodes, the medieval wars that wrenched England and France asunder.
In addition, as a cultural historian, she aims to explain the impact of 114 years of conflict on the general populace and the art, religion, architecture and literature of the two countries.
“I wanted to show not just the lives of the kings, knights and bishops, the battles, the sieges and the politics,” Ramirez says on
the BBC website. “We tried to create a narrative that held together and gave the broadest picture – and through consulting experts on both sides of the Channel, we tried to take on board a range of often very differing viewpoints.”
Filming took Ramirez and her crew to battle sites, castles, libraries and churches all over England and France. Her most memorable experience was seeing and handling the skull of infamous chancellor and archbishop Simon Sudbury, who was killed during the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381 and whose head was displayed on Tower Bridge.
The first episode begins in 1337, with Edward the
III of England’s decision to land an army in Normandy. Many kings would come and go before the final battle at Castillon in 1453.
In Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years’ War, Monday.