John Dover Wilson's New Shakespeare, published between 1921 and 1966, became the classic Cambridge edition of Shakespeare's plays and poems until the 1980s. The series, long since out-of-print, is now reissued. Each work is available both individually and as a set, and each contains a lengthy and lively introduction, main text, and substantial notes and glossary printed at the back. The edition, which began with The Tempest and ended with The Sonnets, put into practice the techniques and theories that had evolved under the 'New Bibliography'. Remarkably by today's standards, although it took the best part of half a century to produce, the New Shakespeare involved only a small band of editors besides Dover Wilson himself. As the volumes took shape, many of Dover Wilson's textual methods acquired general acceptance and became an established part of later editorial practice, for example in the Arden and New Cambridge Shakespeares.
A. R. Humphreyswas Professor of English at Leicester University. He also editedKing Henry IV Part 1and Much Ado About Nothing for the Arden Second Series,King Henry VandKing Henry VIIIfor Penguin, andJulius Caesarfor the Oxford Shakespeare. In the introduction to this Arden edition ofKing Henry IV Part 2, A. R. Humphreys begins by discussing the original publication of the play, the establishing of its date, and the extent to which Shakespeare took liberties with historical facts in 1and2 Henry IV. The editor proceeds to examine the relationship between the twoHenry IVplays, considering historical evidence and previous critical analysis. In the following section, Humphreys analyzes the several probable sources for the play, six of which appear in full in an appendix. Later in the introduction, the editor devotes substantial sections of his own criticism to the play's style and themes, with individual sections dedicated to Falstaff and the infamous scene of his rejection by Prince Hal. Humphreys finally dissects problems of the early texts, going over the nuances of the Quarto and Folio editions and comparing the two. Before the actual text of the play, notes are given on the particularities of this edition and its references and abbreviations. Following the text ofKing Henry IV Part 2are eight appendices: "Source Material"; "Hall probably not a Source"; "II. i. 88: The Singing-Man of Windsor"; "Justice Shallow and Gloucestershire"; "Gaultree"; "The Continuity of Scenes in Act IV, i-ii, and iv-v"; "IV. v. 20-30: 'Why doth the crown lie there . . .'"; and "Henry and the Crusade." The Arden Shakespearehas developed a reputation as the pre-eminent critical edition of Shakespeare for its exceptional scholarship, reflected in the thoroughness of each volume. An introduction comprehensively contextualizes the play, chronicling the history and culture that surrounded and influenced Shakespeare at the time of its writing and performance, and closely surveying critical approaches to the work. Detailed appendices address problems like dating and casting, and analyze the differing Quarto and Folio sources. A full commentary by one or more of the play’s foremost contemporary scholars illuminates the text, glossing unfamiliar terms and drawing from an abundance of research and expertise to explain allusions and significant background information. Highly informative and accessible, Arden offers the fullest experience of Shakespeare available to a reader. Table of Contents Preface INTRODUCTION 1. Publication 2. Date 3. The Extent of Revision (i) Changes of Names (ii) Further Revisions? 4. The Relationship to1 Henry IV 5. The Main Sources (i) Holinshed (ii) Daniel (iii) Stow (iv) Elyot (v)A Myrroure for Magistrates (vi) The “Wild Prince Hal” Stories (vii)The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth (viii) Other Prince Hal Plays? 6. Themes and their Treatment (i) Richard and Henry (ii) Henry and Necessity (iii) Statecraft and Morality (iv) Miscalculation (v) Anarchy (vi) Age and Disease (vii) Life in Place and Time 7. Falstaff 8. The Rejection 9. The Style and its Functions 10. The Text (i) The Transmission of the Text (ii) The Cuts in the Quarto (iii) The Copy for the Folio (iv) Comparison of the Quarto and Folio Texts (v) The Folio Text independent of the Quarto? (vi) The Folio Text not independent of the Quarto? (vii) The Answer? (viii) The Dering Manuscript 11. Editorial Methods 12. References and Abbreviations THE SECOND PART OF KING HENRY THE FOURTH APPENDICES I. Source Material 1. Holinshed 2. Daniel 3. Stow 4. Elyot 5.The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth 6. John Eliot:Ortho-epia Gallica II. Hall probably not a Source III. II. i. 88: The Singing-Man of Windsor IV. Justice Shallow and Gloucestershire V. Gaultree VI. The Continuity of Scenes in Act IV, i-ii, and iv-v VII. IV. v. 20-30: “Why doth the crown lie there . . .” VIII. Henry and the Crusade
Students with little or no prior experience of studying Shakespeare in depth will find very useful the summaries of the conclusions of recent research into theatrical conditions, conventions and concepts in the time of Shakespeare. After an overview of Shakespeare’s life and career, the book summarises Elizabethan attitudes to History and Politics, concepts of the cosmos, theological issues such as Free Will and the Fall of Man, and the tensions that ultimately destroyed consensus on these matters. Discussion of expectations of different types of plays then precedes detailed analysis of Henry IV’s structure, genres and literary strategies, and of the major themes it explores. The play is firmly placed in the sequence of history plays from Richard II to Henry V. A chapter examines fully the issues surrounding the Education of a Prince for rule, concluding with full exploration of the part played by Falstaff. The final chapters examine the conceptual and ideological implications of the play’s languages and styles, and the career of the play, which, especially in Part 1, has been greatly successful in later ages when its original topicality is quite forgotten. There is an Appendix listing some extant History Plays, and copious explanatory hyperlinks.
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