The Drift to Power, <i>c</i>.1390–97

Christopher Fletcher

in Richard II

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199546916
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720826 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

 The Drift to Power, c.1390–97

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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This chapter examines the process by which the settlement put in place in 1388-90 slowly came apart in the mid-1390s, as Richard II used his acknowledged status as king and man to reassert his authority. It examines how the king used his position to entertain the grievances of those dissatisfied with the existing balance of power, for example in Gascony and in the English localities. It considers how Richard was subsequently able to re-perform a series of rites of passage which had failed to establish his manhood in his teens, notably with his expedition to Ireland and with his second marriage, to Isabel of France. By 1397 the king had established his adult power on a reasonably secure basis; it only remained to be seen whether he would use his position to preserve the status quo, or to pursue manly revenge against those who had defied him in 1386-8.

Keywords: Richard II; Gascony; localities; manhood; rites of passage; Ireland; Isabel of France; revenge

Chapter.  12671 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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