The First Part of King Henry the Fourth: Texts and Contexts / Edition 1

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This teaching edition of Shakespeare’s The First Part of King Henry the Fourth responds to the needs of instructors using a variety of approaches to Shakespeare, including historical and cultural studies approaches. The play is accompanied by 6 sets of primary documents and illustrations thematically arranged to offer a richly textured understanding of early modern culture and Shakespeare’s work within that culture. The texts include facsimiles of period documents, excerpts from the chronicle accounts of English history, conduct book literature, military manuals, descriptions of the early modern theater and other entertainments, and literary works presenting alternative versions of Shakespeare’s play. The documents and illustrations contextualize the play’s treatment of history, civic order and rebellion, authority, the idea of honor, the feminine, the education of a prince, and revelry at the margins of culture. Editorial features designed to help students read the play in light of the historical documents include an intelligent and engaging general introduction, an introduction to each thematic group of documents, thorough headnotes and glosses for the primary documents (presented in modern spelling), and an extensive bibliography.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The three individual plays launch the third edition of the venerable "Arden Shakespeare" series, which will see the entire canon reproduced in superior scholarly editions by the year 2000. The First Folio is a facsimile edition of the original 1623 publication of the bard's works.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312134020
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 1/15/1997
  • Series: Bedford Shakespeare Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 419
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

About the Series
About This Volume
List of Illustrations




1. Historiography and the Uses of History
Edward Hall, From The Union of the Two Noble and Illustrious Families of Lancaster and York
Raphael Holinshed, From Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland
Samuel Daniel, From The First Four Books of the Civil Wars Between the Two Houses of Lancaster and York (Book III)

2. Civic Order and Rebellion
From An Homily Against Disobedience and Willful Rebellion (Third Part)
John Ponet, From A Short Treatise of Politic Power

3. Cultural Territories
Mapping the Land and Its People
Theatre in London: Sites and Controversies
Alehouse and Tavern
Women in Henry IV, Part I: Wives, Rebels, and Others
William Harrison, From The Description of England (Of Degrees of People in the Commonwealth of England)
William Harrison, From The Description of England (Of Their Apparel and Attire)
John Stow, From A Survey of London (Candlewick Street Ward)
John Stow, From A Survey of London (Borough of Southwark and Bridge Ward Without)
Lord Mayor of London, Letter to John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury
Stephen Gosson, From The School of Abuse
Thomas Heywood, From An Apology for Actors (Of Actors, and the True Use of Their Quality)
Thomas Dekker, From Of Lantern and Candlelight (Of Canting)
John Dod and Robert Cleaver, From A Godly Form of Household Government
Joseph Swetnam, From The Arraignment of Lewd, Idle, Froward, and Unconstant Women (Chapter III)
Raphael Holinshed, From Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (On Welsh Women)
From Act III, Scene I of Henry IV, Part I: Prompt Copy Excerpts of Welsh Passages

4. The "Education" of a Prince
Roger Ascham, From The Schoolmaster
Anonymous, From The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth
Niccolò Machiavelli, From The Prince
From The Brut, or The Chronicles of England
John Speed, From The History of Great Britain

5. Honor and Arms: Elizabethan Neochivalric Culture and the Military Trades
The Chivalric Heritage
Elizabethan Rites and Chivalric Rights
Manuals of Honor: The Ideal and the Practice
Sir William Segar, From Honor Military and Civil
Matthew Sutcliffe, From The Right Practice, Proceedings, and Laws of Arms
Barnaby Rich, From A Pathway to Military Practice
George Silver, From The Paradoxes of Defense

6. The Oldcastle Controversy: "What's in a Name?"
John Foxe, From Acts and Monuments (The Martyrdom of Sir John Oldcastle)
Raphael Holinshed, From The Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (Sir John Oldcastle)
Michael Drayton, Richard Hathaway, Anthony Munday, and Robert Wilson, From The True and Honorable History of The Life of Sir John Oldcastle



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