Online LibraryText&Essays

Arranged alphabetically by author: Full-text editions and extracts of fifteenth-through nineteenth-century sources on the Ricardian controversy; essays on Richard III in history, drama, and literature, and resources for teaching.

For book and journal article suggestions, see the Ricardian Fiction & Non Fiction/Research Library Sections (Members Only)  and Back to Basics.

Anonymous, Croyland Chronicle. A portion of the Second Continuation, and the full text of the Third and Fourth Continuations. Covers all entries for the period 1453-1486. Important primary source for the study of the Wars of the Roses and especially the reigns of Henry VI, Edward IV, and Richard III.

Anonymous, History of the Arrival of Edward IV in England and the Final Recovery of His Kingdoms from Henry VI. Hypertext markup version of the anonymous contemporary chronicle, from the 1838 Camden Society edition. Take a break from all that Tudor propaganda and see Yorkist propaganda in one of its earlier manifestations. Six large files, ranging from 20KB-28KB each.

Anonymous, “The Ballad of Bosworth Field”
Long (163-stanza) sixteenth-century poem, thought to be written by an eye-witness to the battle, with exhaustive list of Richard III’s supporters. With an introduction by Michael Bennett, University of Tasmania.

Anonymous, “The Song of Lady Bessy (Ladye Bessiye)”
Another long sixteenth-century poem, possibly by the same author as that of “The Ballad of Bosworth Field.” The “Lady Bessy” is Elizabeth of York, oldest daughter of Edward IV, whom Richard III allegedly sought to marry in 1485, and who later married Henry VII.

Anonymous, “The Edward IV Roll”
Digital facsimile of Free Library of Philadelphia, Rare Book DepartmentM S Lewis E201, a 19-foot propaganda genealogy of Edward IV, with commentary and documentation of conservation treatment.

Austen, Jane. Excerpts from her history of England, a hilarious juvenile send-up of the Ricardian controversy, written in November 1791 when she was sixteen.

Fabyan, Robert. ‘The Concordaunce of Hystoryes’. Published post mortem in 1516 as ‘The new chronicles of England and of France’ (volume 2, pages 512 to 520, the years 1482 to 1485) Based on 2nd Edition 1559.

Godschalk et al., The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century History Play: A Working Bibliography, an extensive bibliography compiled for a graduate seminar in Shakespeare’s histories and 16th-17th century historiography.

Holinshed, Raphael. Holinshed’s Chronicles – England, Scotland, and Ireland. Portions of Vol. 6 (excerpts from the reign of Edward IV; the reigns of Edward V and Richard III). Shakespeare’s source.

Jones,Michael. “Philippe de Commynes, Memoirs”
This memoir, by one of the advisors of the French king Louis XI, offers an interesting perspective on the Wars of the Roses and on Edward IV’s 1475 French campaign. Translated with an Introduction by Michael Jones.

Kosir, Beth Marie.  “Richard III: A Study in Historiographical Controversy,” an examination of historians’ treatment of Richard III since the sixteenth century.

Malden, Henry Elliot, M.A.“The Cely Papers”, Selections from the correspondence and memoranda of the Cely family, Merchants of the Staple, A.D. 1475-1488. Edited for the Royal Historical Society by Henry Elliot Malden, M.A.

Marius, Richard. “The History of King Richard III,” a chapter from his 1984 biography of Sir Thomas More.

Maurer, Helen, The Princes in the Tower. Whodunit: The Suspects in the case.

Michalove, Sharon D. “The Reinvention of Richard III.” Paper presented at the conference ‘Reinventing the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: Constructions of the Medieval and Early Modern Periods,’ sponsored by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, February 17, 1995, in Tempe, Arizona. Also printed in the December 1995 issue of The Ricardian.

Moore, James A. “Historicity in Shakespeare’s Richard III, an analysis by the author of the Garland annotated bibliography on Richard III.

More, Thomas. The History of King Richard the Third. This hypertext edition was produced by Richard Bear of the University of Oregon from a facsimile of the Rastell edition, and is mirrored from his site. Presented here in a section with a chapter from Richard Marius’ 1984 biography and two chapters from Jeremy Potter’s Good King Richard?

Murph, Roxanne C. Richard III: The Making of a Legend.
Originally published in 1977, republished in 1984. The book combines a brief biography of Richard III with a historiographical survey and a review of Richard III in drama and fiction. The first two chapters, reproduced here by kind permission of the author, offer an introductory biography of Richard III.

Nicolas, Nicholas Harris, The Privy Purse Expenses of Elizabeth of York: The Wardrobe Accounts of Edward IV.Transcription of 1830 edition. Mounted on the server now: Nicolas’s introductory memoirs of Yorkist royalty, with commentary on the Ricardian controversies of the time; the privy purse expenses of Elizabeth of York. To come: the Wardrobe Accounts. A lengthy series of documents, consisting of 24 interlinked files, ranging in size from 22KB to 40 KB.

Oberdorfer, Richard. Pursuing the White Boar: Approaches to Teaching Richard III
The author surveys educators from the secondary to the graduate study level and offers up a review of Richard III in the classroom.

Plantagenet, Richard, The Statutes Ordained by Richard Duke of Gloucester, for the College of Middleham, dated July 4, 1478.

Potter, Jeremy. “More Myth-making”.  A chapter from Good King Richard? An Account of Richard III and His Reputation.

Potter, Jeremy. “Richard III’s Historians: Adverse and Favourable Views” This text, by former chairman Jeremy Potter, was prepared for the Society’s exhibition (1991), “To Prove a Villain,” which was on display in the foyer of the Olivier Theatre in London during Sir Ian McKellen’s production of Shakespeare’s “Richard III”, and later at Warwick Castle.

Potter, Jeremy.  “The Princes: A Dolorous End,” a chapter from Good King Richard? An Account of Richard III and His Reputation.

Reeves, Compton. Paul Murray Kendall and the Anniversary of Richard the Third.

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of King Richard the Third and related literary, dramatic and historical works. Digital facsimiles from the University of Pennsylvania Library’s Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text and Image. Includes Hall, Holinshed chronicles, additional Richard III-related plays, more. Cautions: image files are large; site requires Flash plug-in (downloadable from Macromedia).

Smith, Anne. “Richard of Eastwell.” A review of sources related to a man reputed to be an illegitimate son of Richard III.

Titulus Regius

Vineyard, Ruth Anne. “Oh, Tey, Can You See?”
Published in 1987, this curriculum for a study unit for advanced-placement high school students has been popular with educators. In this excerpt, “You Can’t Tell the Players Without a Scorecard,” Vineyard manages to pack thirty years of armed conflict into three pithy pages.

Vergil, Polydore. Anglica Historia, Books 23-25. History of the deposition of Edward V and the reign of Richard III by humanist historian Polydore Vergil. One of the classic traditionalist sources. HTML markup by Jeff Wheeler, San Jose State University. (Large file, ca. 109KB, original spelling, from 1846 J.B. Nichols edition). Also: Jeff Wheeler’s essay on Vergil, “The Color of Honesty.” and an analysis of the claims that Vergil destroyed evidence by Johanna Stewart, Librarian of the Queensland (Australia) Branch.

Walpole, Horace. Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard III — Classic revisionist work, published in 1768.

Warkworth, John. DD. A Chronicle of the First Thirteen Years of the Reign of King Edward the Fourth. Contemporary chronicle with Lancastrian leanings.

Weinsoft, Judy. “Strutting and Fretting His Hour Upon the Stage: An Analysis of the Characterization of Richard in Shakespeare’sRichard III and Daviot’s Dickon
Text of a lecture delivered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, August 27, 1993.

Wigram, Isolde. “Were the ‘Princes in the Tower’ Murdered?” An essay on a perennially favorite topic by the vice president of our parent Society.

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