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Richard II: A Brittle Glory by Laura Ashe

Richard II: A Brittle Glory (2016)

by Laura Ashe

Other authors: Anna Balbusso (Cover artist), Elena Balbusso (Cover artist)

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Richard II is a short but solid biography of a monarch made famous mostly by [[Shakespeare]]. Richard II became King of England at age ten upon the death of his grandfather Edward III, and in many ways like Peter Pan, he never grew up. A believer in the power of the monarchy, he was constantly picking favorites and isolating everyone else, never caring that his image of the monarchy was becoming increasingly detached from reality. Preferring peace to war, his reign was nevertheless buffeted by rebellions, until he lost all support and was forced to give up his crown to the man who became Henry IV. This lead directly to his death in captivity less than a year later.

Like all the books in the Penguin Monarchs series, this one is just around 100 pages, but the author's unique organizational method, in which each chapter describes Richard's actions in a different sphere: parliament, battlefield, city, and shrine, allows her to use the page count to her advantage and build a comprehensive portrait of a man most know only as the tragic protagonist in a Shakespearean play. ( )
  inge87 | Jul 11, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laura Asheprimary authorall editionscalculated
Balbusso, AnnaCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Balbusso, ElenaCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141979895, Mass Market Paperback)

Richard II (1377-99) came to the throne as a child, following the long, domineering, martial reign of his grandfather Edward III. He suffered from the disastrous combination of a most exalted sense of his own power and an inability to impress that power on those closest to the throne. Neither trusted nor feared, Richard battled with a whole series of failures and emergencies before finally succumbing to a coup, imprisonment and murder. Laura Ashe's brilliant account of his reign emphasizes the strange gap between Richard's personal incapacity and the amazing cultural legacy of his reign - from the Wilton Diptych to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Piers Plowman and The Canterbury Tales.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 20 Jan 2016 18:55:02 -0500)

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