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The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare's History Plays

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Shakespeare's history plays have been performed in recent years more than ever before throughout Britain, North America, and Europe. This volume is an accessible introduction to Shakespeare's historical and classical plays. Comprehensive in scope, it offers chapters on the individual plays and accounts of the genre of the history play, Renaissance theories of history, and masques and pageants. It compares them with other European history plays, and includes an account of women's roles, genealogical tables and a list of principal and recurrent characters.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This latest Cambridge companion continues the high quality of the 'Cambridge Companions to Literature' series....The essays mix background information essential for beginners with comments on recent scholarly views helpful to experienced readers. The style is accessible and authoritative, and a paperback edition places the volume within the reach of students." Choice

"Invaluable." Studies in English Literature

"indeed a solid critical piece" Essays in Theatre Igor Djordjevic, University of Toronto

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Michael Hattaway was educated in New Zealand and at Cambridge. He has taught at the Universities of Kent, British Columbia, Massachusetts, and Sheffield. He is the author of Elizabethan Popular Theatre (1982) and Hamlet:The Critics Debate (1987) and is the editor of A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture (2000); with A. R. Braunmuller, of The Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Drama (1990), and, with Derek Roper and Boika Sokolova, of Shakespeare in the New Europe (1994). For the New Mermaids he has edited Beaumont's The Knight of the Burning Pestle, for the New Cambridge Shakespeare 1-3 Henry VI and As You Like It, and for the Revels Series Jonson's The New Inn.

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Table of Contents

List of figures
List of contributors
List of abbreviations
1 The Shakespearean history play 3
2 Shakespeare and the early modern history play 25
3 Pageants, masques, and history 41
4 Elizabethan historiography and Shakespeare's sources 67
5 Women's roles in the Elizabethan history plays 71
6 Plantagenets, Lancastrians, Yorkists, and Tudors: 1-3 Henry VI, Richard III, Edward III 89
7 Historical legacy and fiction: the poetical reinvention of King Richard III 106
8 King John: changing perspectives 126
9 Richard II: Shakespeare and the languages of the stage 141
10 Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 158
11 Henry V: 'the quick forge and working house of thought' 177
12 Shakespeare's ancient Rome: difference and identity 193
13 Shakespeare's other historical plays 214
14 Theatrical afterlives 229
Principal and recurrent characters in the English histories 247
Genealogical tables 261
Reading list and references 264
Index 279
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