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The History of King Richard the Third: by Sir George Buc, Master of the Revels (Hardback)

P&S History > Humanities > Biography & Memoirs P&S History > Medieval World > Anglo-Saxon & Medieval Britain

By Arthur Kincaid
Imprint: Society of Antiquaries of London
Series: Reports of the Research Committee of the Society of Antiquaries of London
Pages: 512
ISBN: 9780854313044
Published: 15th February 2023
Casemate UK Academic



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Sir George Buc (1560-1622), one of the careful antiquarian scholars of the English Renaissance, is famous in literary history as Master of Revels under King James I, a position in which he was responsible for censorship of Shakespeare’s later plays. His own work has never received the attention and assessment it merits. In 1619 Sir George wrote The History of King Richard the Third, a study of Richard’s life and reign and a defence of his historical reputation against the Tudor chroniclers’ slanders. Sane, objective, and carefully documented, this work has taken over 350 years to reach us in the form the author intended.


In the late 1960s-early 1970s Arthur Kincaid embarked on creating the first authentic edition of Sir George Buc’s History from the badly fire-damaged manuscript draft, now in the British Library. Thus, he uncovered Sir George Buc’s original scholarly work, which for centuries had suffered the infamy of having been plagiarized and distorted by his great-nephew, whose name was, coincidentally, George Buck.


This book presents George Buc’s History, painstakingly reconstructed from the original text. In this edition Kincaid has thoroughly updated and revised his introduction, discussing Sir George’s position in the literary and scholarly world of his day, and tracing the mystery of the text’s transmission. Extensive notes document the facts of Richard’s reign and controversies surrounding them.

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