William Feriby was an historic actor: Richard II's secretary between the "Revenge Parliament" of 1397–98 and the deposition of the king in September 1399; subsequently, a contributor to the deposition proceedings; and, finally, a rebel against Henry IV in January 1400. Feriby was also a literary figure, the author of an historical "Lament for Richard II," amongst other things, written in a highly mannered style of a sort to indicate an interest on Feriby's part in the purely literary: imagination and form. Though Feriby's prose style is distinctive, he was not the only historic-historiographical figure who manifested an interest in the strictly literary at the same moment, ca. 1400. The writings of Adam Usk, Thomas Favent, the Historia vitae author, and Thomas Brinton—even the deposition proceedings and the documentary record of them (the "Record and Process")—are comparably (though differently) literary. The relations between Ricardian history and literature can be reconceived, dialectically, by light of such evidence: the literature is historical and historic, but, also, the history itself and historiography are literary.


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pp. 373-410
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