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England's Empty Throne: Usurpation and the Language of Legitimation, 1399-1422

England's Empty Throne: Usurpation and the Language of Legitimation, 1399-1422 (Paperback)

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After the dethronement and subsequent murder of Richard II, the usurping Lancastrian dynasty faced an exceptional challenge. Interrupting a long period of Plantagenet rule, Henry IV and Henry V needed not only to establish physical possession of the English throne but to occupy it symbolically as well. In this boldly revisionary book, Paul Strohm provides a new account of the Lancastrian revolution and its aftermath. Integrating techniques of literary and historical analysis, Strohm reveals the Lancastrian monarchs as masters of outward display, persuasively ""performing"" their kingship through a variety of novel ceremonies in a quest for legitimacy. He also describes far-reaching Lancastrian experiments in domination, including the proscription of prophecy; the enlistment of poetry as court propaganda; the extensive use of spies and informers; and, most ambitiously, the redefinition of treason to cover not only overt deeds but words and thoughts as well. Strohm's account of the Lancastrian quest for legitimacy, and the uses of symbolic power, illuminates - indeed, recasts - our understanding of a period of unprecedented political upheaval.

History & PoliticsHistory: ChronologicalEarly history: c 500 to c 1450-1500History & PoliticsRegional & national historyEuropean historyBritish & Irish history Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press Publication Date: 15/04/2006 ISBN-13: 9780268041212  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.  

PAUL STROHM is Anna S. Garbedian Professor of Humanities at Columbia University.

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