The Court of Richard II and Bohemian Culture: Literature and Art in the Age of Chaucer and the Gawain Poet by Professor Alfred Thomas (1977)

Bohemian culture exercised an important influence on the court of King Richard II, but it has been somewhat overlooked, with previous scholarship on its writers and artists generally confined to the role played by the French court of King Charles V and the Italian city states of Milan and Florence. This book aims to fill that gap. It argues that Richard’s marriage to Anne of Bohemia, daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, one of the greatest rulers and patrons of the age, exposed England to the full extent of this international court culture. Ricardian writers, including Chaucer, Gower and the Gawain-poet, wrote in their native language not because they felt “English” in the modern national sense but because they aspired to be part of a burgeoning vernacular European culture stretching from Paris to Prague and from Brabant to Brandenburg; thus, one of the major periods of English literature can only be properly understood in relation to this larger European context.

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