Monday, 25 August 2008

Richard II bibliography

We've pretty much come to the end of Richard II now. The process has reminded me I have a novel planned for him and Anne of Bohemia (one day!) and that in turn reminds me that instead of writing this guff I should be focusing on the present project - the Richard III novel I occasionally mention.

Anyway, I thought I'd offer a Richard II bibliography. It may be of interest to someone. Until quite recently I'd have said that there was too much focus on the Appellant era and not enough on the events of 1397-99, but Saul and Given-Wilson have sorted that problem.

Factual books.

Richard II, Nigel Saul. Highly recommended.
Chronicles of the Revolution, Chris Given-Wilson. Ditto.
Who Murdered Chaucer, Terry Jones. This guy is so pro-Richard II he makes me look like Bolingbroke's best mate. However, there are some interesting aspects in here and it's well worth a look if only to balance some of the negative stuff.
The Hollow Crown, Harold F. Hutchinson. A relatively positive account.
Richard II and the Revolution of 1399, Michael Bennett. Wider coverage of the reign than the title suggests and some interesting details that are not given in other accounts.
The Court of Richard II, Gervase Mathew. What it says on the tin. Mainly about court culture and politics.
The Age of Richard II, (ed) James L. Gillespie. Collection of interesting articles.
Richard II and the English Nobility, Anthony Tuck.
John of Gaunt, S. Armitage-Smith.
The Royal Household and the King's Affinity, Chris Given Wilson. This covers Edward III and Henry IV and is full of interesting stuff.
The Loyal Conspiracy, Anthony Goodman. Vital reading if you want to know about the Appellants.
The Deposition of Richard II: “The Record and Process of the Renunciation and Deposition of Richard II” (1399), (ed) David R Carlson. (Thanks to Dr Gillian Polack for mentioning this one.)

For anyone interested in the House of York in this era, your best bet by far is:

Henry V and the Southampton Plot, by T.B. Pugh. Otherwise it's a case of getting out the Patent Rolls, etc.


Within the Hollow Crown, Margaret Campbell Barnes. Rather old-fashioned but one of the few that is wholly about Richard II.
A Summer Storm, Jane Lane. Focuses on the Peasants' Revolt.
The Unravished Bride, Terry Tucker. Does not live up to its rather risque title. If I recall correctly it covers all Richard's reign and a lot is packed into a few pages.

There are quite a few novels set wholly or partly in the era. Most have Richard down as a villain. Some suggestions:

Katherine, Anya Seton. (If there's anyone out there who hasn't read it.)
My Lord John, Georgette Heyer.
The Crowning City, Jennifer Lang.
The Dice in Flight, Martyn Whittock.
Passage To Pontefract, Jean Plaidy.
Monmouth Harry, A. Maughan. (Mainly about Henry V but does feature Richard. To say nothing of 'Elizabeth of York' Edmund of Langley's otherwise unknown second daughter.
Within the Fetterlock, Brian Wainwright. (You thought I was going to write a list like this and not mention this one?? Yeah, right.)
The White Rose of Langley, Emily S Holt. Extremely Victorian in tone - may be read if you are really, really interested in Constance of York. Otherwise probably best avoided.
Under One Sceptre, Emily S Holt. Another Victorian novel with the same health warning, except this is for people with a burning interest in Roger Mortimer, Earl of March.


Susan Higginbotham said...

I didn't know Georgette Heyer had a novel about this period! (Yours, of course, I've had the pleasure of reading.)

Lynn Irwin Stewart said...

Brian, I am reading WITHIN THE FETTERLOCK right now -- am almost finished -- but I don't want it to end!

Brian said...

Susan - My Lord John is about Bedford and starts in his boyhood. It was published, incomplete, after her death. Richard II appears in the early part of the book and other minor characters include Edward and Constance of York, the former depicted as a sort of Aumale-nice-but-dim.

Lynn, I am glad you are enjoying Fetterlock. It was a long cherished dream to tell Constance's story and it was rewritten X times as I found out new stuff and (hopefully) matured as a writer. I am now pressing on with the R3 project though progress is slow.

Lynn Irwin Stewart said...

Brian, if for no other reason, I'll be eternally grateful to my man, R3, because, if it weren't for my interest in him (sparked by Anne Easter Smith's A ROSE FOR THE CROWN), I might never have discovered you or Susan -- and I've enjoyed both her and your books immensely. I look forward to your book about Richard III!

Lady D. said...

Always useful to see a bibliography! And yes, I too am looking forward to the Richard III novel ;-)