Journal Article

The Unoriginality of Tito Livio Frulovisi's Vita Henrici Quinti

David Rundle

in The English Historical Review

Volume CXXIII, issue 504, pages 1109-1131
Published in print October 2008 | ISSN: 0013-8266
Published online October 2008 | e-ISSN: 1477-4534 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehr/cen254
The Unoriginality of Tito Livio Frulovisi's Vita Henrici Quinti

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This article investigates the relationship between the two earliest posthumous biographies of Henry V, king of England (1413 – 1422), Tito Livio Frulovisi's Vita Henrici Quinti and the anonymous Vita et Gesta Henrici Quinti (known as the Ps-Elmham). Both these works were edited in the early eighteenth century by Thomas Hearne, but the relationship between them was for many years a matter of debate. The twentieth-century orthodoxy, established by Charles Kingsford in an article in the English Historical Review, was the Vita et Gesta is a long-winded recitation in overblown Latin of the information previously presented more elegantly in Frulovisi's biography. The first intention of this article is to detail some of the evidence which demands that we reject the accepted order of composition of the two works. A comparison of structure, style and the attention paid to Humfrey, duke of Gloucester demonstrates that the Vita et Gesta is the earlier work and the main source for Frulovisi, rather than vice versa. The second section of the article briefly outlines the implications of correctly establishing the relationship between the two works, touching on some of the consequences for our understanding of English historiography, of literary patronage and of political culture in fifteenth century England.

Journal Article.  11282 words. 

Subjects: British History ; World History ; European History ; International History

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