Richard II, one of the most puzzling kings of late medieval England, has been the subject of controversy ever since his forced abdication in 1399. He often has been portrayed as a tyrant or, at times, as a madman by historians. Recently the trend is toward a reassessment of Richard's reign free from the biased Whig interpretation of the past. R. H. Jones took a first step in that direction in 1968 with the publication of The Royal Policy of Richard II: Absolutism in the Middle Ages. Jones viewed Richard as a king inclined toward absolutism but lacking the taint of rancorousness or despotism ascribed to him by historians since Stubbs. Subsequently two books, a Festschrift, and several articles have appeared, delineating more aspects of the reign. Since May McKisack's volume in the Oxford History of England series appeared in 1959, the number of works concerning the reign has been steadily growing. The recent publication of Anthony Tuck's Richard II and the English Nobility offers an opportunity to reexamine the place of Richard II in history. The divergence of scholarship since 1959 from the traditional interpretations will be seen as the major constitutional problems of the reign are scrutinized. After first examining the influence of William Shakespeare and William Stubbs in shaping the historiography of the reign a chronological discussion of the period from 1377 to 1399 will follow.