The primary purpose of Henry V and the Earliest English Carols: 1413–1440 is to re-examine the carol repertoire in relation to the dating of its key sources. The title of David Fallows’s book connects his material to the reign of Henry V (1413–22), but the chronological frame extends through the first two decades of that of Henry VI (first reign 1422–61), in alignment with the copying of key sources. The connection with Henry V is most important to Fallows’s arguments. Throughout the book, Fallows builds his case for a strong and causal relationship between the political situation surrounding the English military victory at Agincourt in 1415 and the invigoration of the carol as a unique, vibrant and newly polyphonic song used in contexts that included court propaganda. Additionally, Fallows outlines a new chronology for the four main sources of the carol.
Colton, L. (2020). Book Review: Mediaeval Carols, transcribed and ed. by John Stevens, 3rd rev. edn prepared by David Fallows, Musica Britannica 4. London: Stainer & Bell and the Musica Britannica Trust, 2018. David Fallows, Henry V and the Earliest English Carols: 1413–1440. Abingdon: Routledge, 2018. Plainsong and Medieval Music, 29(2), 180-184. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0961137120000133