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Richard II (Paperback)

Manhood, Youth, and Politics 1377-99

P&S History > Medieval World > Medieval History

Imprint: Oxford University Press
Pages: 316
ISBN: 9780199595716
Published: 31st December 2008
Casemate UK Academic


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This well-argued new take on Richard II, doesn't attempt to be a comprehensive history of his reign, but takes issue with a common feature of his modern portrayal - the idea that he was effeminate, and unable to fit in with contemporary ideas of masculinity. Fletcher notes that the theme of unmanliness in contemporary sources stems principally from Archbishop Arundel's condemnation of Richard following his deposition, which also centres on the king's youth, in comparison with the "man" Henry IV (in actuality roughly the same age). He therefore examines precisely what late medieval perceptions of manhood and youth actually are, and looks at Richard's kingship alongside this. He argues that looked at in terms of youth and manhood rather than effeminacy, Richard's actions look far more conventional for his age, and his so-called absolutism more an attempt to shake off the shackles of youth, and prove himself a man.

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