The Real Falstaff
Sir John Fastolf was one of the most famous English knights, and is commonly thought to be a model for Sir John Falstaff, one of Shakespeare's best known characters. This book examines the link in full. Most of Fastolf's life was spent fighting the French, and he lived long enough to witness both the triumphs of Henry V, and the disasters of the 1450s. He was one of the last representatives of generations of brave but often brutal English soldiers who made their careers - and their fortunes - waging war in France.
Cooper retraces the entire course of Fastolf's long life, but he concentrates on his many campaigns. A vivid picture of the old soldier emerges and of the French wars in which he played such a prominent part. But the author also explores Fastolf's legacy - the use Shakespeare made of Fastolf's name, career and character when he created Sir John Falstaff.
Author: Stephen Cooper