restricted access The Prisoner's Voice in Conflicting Narratives of Loyalty and Political Legitimacy in Late Medieval England


In 1397, Richard II arrested the duke of Gloucester and sent him to die a prisoner in the fortress of Calais. Richard's unjust actions triggered crises of loyalty and political legitimacy that would trouble the English political community for years to come. In a series of resulting treason trials, the official judicial accounts were both authorized and undermined by voices speaking from prison. Exile and imprisonment functioned in these narratives not simply as material punishments but as conceptual categories that carried political and ethical meanings, complicating the way political crises were represented, received, and reimagined in English political culture.