England's Empty Throne: Usurpation And The Language Of Legitimation, 1399-1422

Paperback | June 30, 2006

byPaul Strohm

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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, he 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.
 

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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 is Anna S. Garbedian Emeritus Professor of Humanities at Columbia University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.7 inPublished:June 30, 2006Publisher:University of Notre Dame PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0268041210

ISBN - 13:9780268041212

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"England's Empty Throne . . . confirms Paul Strohm's extraordinary ability to disclose and interpret elements of social and political contestation in texts produced in late medieval England, even (or especially) when such disclosure seems farthest from the overt intent of their composers or sponsors." —Arthuriana