Remembering Richard
History and memory in Lancastrian England
in Political culture in later medieval England
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This chapter is about the changing reputation of Richard II during the seventy years or so after his death. It starts with Walter Somery's testimony because the testimony serves as a reminder that personal memory and oral testimony would have played a part in shaping that reputation. The chapter is concerned with the social memory of Richard's reign, and investigates the memories of Richard II preserved during the Lancastrian England. One issue the chapter considers is the way in which historical memories can be structured by the characteristic narrative lines of different literary genres; another is how far the changing predilections for particular narrative conventions can be related to the social and cultural contexts that produced them. Distinction is drawn as required between the production of historical narratives and their reception, between 'authoring', and 'authorising', which is a social and communal activity.

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