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A Companion to Shakespeare's Works, Volume II: The Histories

Richard Dutton (Editor), Jean E. Howard (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-631-22633-8
496 pages
June 2003, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Shakespeare


This four-volume Companion to Shakespeare's Works, compiled as a single entity, offers a uniquely comprehensive snapshot of current Shakespeare criticism.

  • Brings together new essays from a mixture of younger and more established scholars from around the world - Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Examines each of Shakespeare’s plays and major poems, using all the resources of contemporary criticism, from performance studies to feminist, historicist, and textual analysis.
  • Volumes are organized in relation to generic categories: namely the histories, the tragedies, the romantic comedies, and the late plays, problem plays and poems.
  • Each volume contains individual essays on all texts in the relevant category, as well as more general essays looking at critical issues and approaches more widely relevant to the genre.
  • Offers a provocative roadmap to Shakespeare studies at the dawning of the twenty-first century.

This companion to Shakespeare’s histories contains original essays on every history play from Henry VI to Henry V as well as fourteen additional articles on such topics as censorship in Shakespeare’s histories, the relation of Shakespeare’s plays to other dramatic histories of the period, Shakespeare’s histories on film, the homoerotics of Shakespeare’s history plays, and nation formation in Shakespeare’s histories.

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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors.


1. The Writing of History in Shakespeare s England: Ivo Kamps.

2. Shakespeare and Contemporary Dramatists of History: Richard Helgerson.

3. Censorship and the Problems with History in Shakespeares England: Cyndia Susan Clegg.

4. Nation Formation and the English History Plays: Patricia A. Cahill.

5. The Irish Text and Subtext of Shakespeare s English Histories: Willy Maley.

6. Theories of Kingship in Shakespeare s England: William C. Carroll.

7. To beguile the time, Look like the time: Contemporary Film.

Versions of Shakespeare s Histories: Peter J. Smith.

8. The Elizabethan History Play: A True Genre? Paulina Kewes.

9. Damned Commotion: Riot and Rebellion in Shakespeares Histories: James Holstun.

10. Manliness Before Individualism: Masculinity, Effeminacy, and Homoerotics in Shakespeare s History Plays: Rebecca Ann Bach.

11. French Marriages and the Protestant Nation in Shakespeares: History Plays: Linda Gregerson.

12. The First Tetralogy in Performance: Ric Knowles.

13. The Second Tetralogy: Performance as Interpretation: Lois Potter.

14. 1 Henry VI: David Bevington.

15. Suffolk and the Pirates: Disordered Relations in Shakespeare’s Henry VI: Thomas Cartelli.

16. Vexed Relations: Family, State, and the Uses of Women in 3 Henry VI: Kathryn Schwarz.

17. The power of hope An Early Modern Reader of Richard III: James Siemon.

18. King John: Virginia Mason Vaughan.

19. The Kings Melting Body: Richard II: Lisa Hopkins.

20. 1 Henry IV: James Knowles.

21. Henry IV, Part 2: A Critical History: Jonathan Crewe.

22. Henry V: Andrew Hadfield.


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Author Information

Jean E. Howard is William E. Ransford Professor of English at Columbia University and a past president of the Shakespeare Association of America. She is an editor of The Norton Shakespeare, and author of, among other works The Stage and Social Struggle in Early Modern England (1994) and, with Phyllis Rackin, of Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare’s English Histories (1997).

Richard Dutton is currently Professor of English at Lancaster University, author of Mastering the Revels: the Regulation and Censorship of Renaissance Drama (1991) and Licensing, Censorship and Authorship in Early Modern England:Buggeswords (2000). He is editor of the Palgrave Literary Lives series. From 2003, he will be Professor of English at Ohio State University.

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The Wiley Advantage

  • Contains original essays on every history play from Henry VI to Henry V.

  • Includes fourteen additional articles on such topics as censorship in Shakespeare's histories, the relation of Shakespeare's plays to other dramatic histories of the period, Shakespeare's histories on film, the homoerotics of Shakespeare's history plays, and nation formation in Shakespeare's histories.

  • Brings together new essays from a diverse, international group of scholars.

  • Complements David Scott Kastan's A Companion to Shakespeare (1999), which focused on Shakespeare as an author in his historical context.

  • Offers a provocative roadmap to Shakespeare studies.
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