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Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

1 Henry IV by William Shakespeare


1 Henry IV by William Shakespeare

Act and scene divisions are not indicated in the Quarto; those of the First Folio have been incorporated, with one exception: scene ii of Act V has been divided into two scenes, with the concluding scenes numbered accordingly. The Third Edition includes expanded annotations. Contexts and Sources includes dueling arguments on the play's completeness (one play or one half of a play?) and the naming of a central character (Falstaff or Oldcastle?). Criticism includes twenty-four essays-from E. M. W. Tillyard's classic argument of an ordered Shakespearean universe to Graham Holderness's rebuttal to Gus Van Sant's interview regarding 1 Henry IV as the inspiration for his cult film, My Own Private Idaho-nineteen of them new to the Third Edition. The Selected Bibliography has been thoroughly updated.

About the Author

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born at Stratford upon Avon in April, 1564. He was the third child, and eldest son, of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. Little is known of Shakespeare’s early life; but it is unlikely that a writer who dramatized such an incomparable range and variety of human kinds and experiences should have spent his early manhood entirely in placid pursuits in a country town. There is one tradition, not universally accepted, that he fled from Stratford because he was in trouble for deer stealing, and had fallen foul of Sir Thomas Lucy, the local magnate; another that he was for some time a schoolmaster.

When Shakespeare died fourteen of his plays had been separately published in Quarto booklets. In 1623 his surviving fellow actors, John Heming and Henry Condell, with the co-operation of a number of printers, published a collected edition of thirty-six plays in one Folio volume, with an engraved portrait, memorial verses by Ben Jonson and others, and an Epistle to the Reader in which Heming and Condell make the interesting note that Shakespeare’s ‘hand and mind went together, and what he thought, he uttered with that easiness that we have scarce received from him a blot in his papers.’

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Book Info

Publication date

22nd April 2003


William Shakespeare

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WW Norton & Co


432 pages


Shakespeare plays
Shakespeare studies & criticism



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