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Richard II, Shakespeare,  William
Richard II
William Shakespeare

Paperback $14.99 - Penguin UK
Plays, Theatre & Dance - Published: 29/Jul/2015 - ISBN: 9780141396644

'Not all the water in the rough rude sea Can wash the balm off from an anointed king'

Richard, a vain, despotic ruler, listens only to his flatterers. When his cousin Bolingbroke, previously banished, returns to seize the crown, Richard discovers that the throne given to him by God can be taken from him by men. Depicting a tortured and morally ambivalent soul wearing the 'hollow crown', whose illusions are brutally shattered, this tragic history play unravels the idea of kingship. It is also a work of epic lyricism, filled with some of Shakespeare's most intoxicating poetry.

'We go to Shakespeare to find out about ourselves.' Jeanette Winterson

General Introduction on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan theatre by Stanley Wells
Edited by Stanley Wells with an introduction by Paul Edmondson

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. His father was one of the most prosperous men of Stratford, who held in turn the chief offices in the town. His mother was of gentle birth, the daughter of Robert Arden of Wilmcote. In December, 1582, Shakespeare married Ann Hathaway, daughter of a farmer of Shottery, near Stratford; their first child Susanna was baptized on May 6, 1583, and twins, Hamnet and Judith, on February 22, 1585. 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.

From 1592 onwards the records are much fuller. In March, 1592, the Lord Strange's players produced a new play at the Rose Theatre called Harry the Sixth, which was very successful, and was probably the First Part of Henry VI. In the autumn of 1592 Robert Greene, the best known of the professional writers, as he was dying wrote a

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