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The Historians of Angevin England$
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Michael Staunton

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198769965

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198769965.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 December 2021

Henry II and Angevin Kingship

Henry II and Angevin Kingship

Chapter:
(p.153) 9 Henry II and Angevin Kingship
Source:
The Historians of Angevin England
Author(s):

Michael Staunton

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198769965.003.0009

This chapter examines portraits of King Henry II written by three courtier-clerks, Peter of Blois, Gerald of Wales, and Walter Map. These descriptions of Henry’s appearance and character are frequently quoted in modern histories, but are seldom analysed for their literary influences. In this chapter it is shown that they are strongly influenced by a tradition of royal portraiture going back to Suetonius and mediated by Einhard, William of Malmesbury, and others. More surprisingly, perhaps, they also have a very contemporary character, influenced by currently fashionable ideas of the courtly king, ideas that are more often associated with Henry’s son Richard.

Keywords:   Henry II, Suetonius, Peter of Blois, Walter Map, Gerald of Wales, royal portraiture, the courtly king

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