THE HOLLOW CROWN by Harold F. Hutchison
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20 years of research into every available source (many of them, discovered only recently by modern scholars) have gone into the preparation of this scholarly and detailed presentation of the 33 years of Richard II of England, set in his own historical context by an Englishman who is an extremely gifted historian as well as a biographer. As Mr. Hutchison points out in his Foreword, only one biography of Richard II has been published in modern English, and that one is limited to Richard in his political functions. Consequently, the general public is still most familiar with Shakespeare's Richard II, which deals only with the last two years of Richard's reign and is based upon chronicles which were steeped in Laucastrian prejudices. This biography gives a rich and comprehensive picture of the many colourful figures who surrounded Richard and treats very thoroughly the important political, social, and economic events which peppered Richard's reign. All of this is done without any enarchronistic overlays. In particular, Mr. Hutchison's depiction of the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 is fascinating and enlightening to anyone familiar with some English history. Mr. Hutchinson's more sympathetic view of Richard is well-substantiated by his evidence, and, although this is heavy going which demands a good deal of the reader in the way of historical background, it is worth every minute of reading.

Publisher: John Day