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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

During the Reformation, arguments over the near and distant past are crucial for making people increasingly aware of the plurality of competing, even contradictory, accounts of the past. This article examines the way in which historical accounts of Richard III’s reign point to the emergence of a historiographical consciousness, an awareness that written history is partial in both senses of the word. It considers the extent of John Foxe’s influence on English history writing and how he made revisionist history mainstream. It analyses chronicle history plays, especially The True Tragedie of Richard III, as evidence that historiographical consciousness was widespread in the period. It also treats the connection between dissimulation and conspiracy in Thomas More’s History and cites George Buck’s The History of King Richard III (1619) as a remarkable example of revisionism that deploys historical learning against received opinion.

Keywords: The True Tragedie of Richard III, historiography, historical consciousness, Reformation, history, John Foxe, revisionist history, Thomas More, George Buck, revisionism

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