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Henry IV, Part 1 (Folger Shakespeare Library) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2005
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About the Author
William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England's Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children--an older daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare's only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare's working life was spent in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London until close to his death.
Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Research emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Consulting Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, and author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare's Romances and of essays on Shakespeare's plays and their editing.
Paul Werstine is Professor of English at the Graduate School and at King's University College at Western University. He is a general editor of the New Variorum Shakespeare and author of Early Modern Playhouse Manuscripts and the Editing of Shakespeare and of many papers and articles on the printing and editing of Shakespeare's plays.
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This indispensable commentary engages the reader in the editor’s own love of the play both on the page and in performance.
*I notice just one typo (on p. 62 “mind end” s.b. “mine end”) and one copy editor’s oversight (2.2.30-1n, where “first mention” is contradicted by 1.2.109n).
Henry IV Part I is personally my favorite of his plays and I take the typical stance of being a Falstaff sympathizer (expedited by Roger Allam's portrayal at Shakespeare's Globe and Orson Welles' in Chimes at Midnight), but enjoy all the characters and their interactions.
Folger Shakespeare Library has been an excellent resource for me, as I came to these plays with absolutely no knowledge of Shakespeare whatsoever. There are word translations on one side of the page and text summaries for each act, and the occasional illustration. Can't ask for more for $6, 5 stars.
Falstaff is undoubtedly the most infamously famous literary comic character in the history of English literature. The scenes of him being robbed by Prince Hal, feigning his death, stabbing the already deceased Hotspur in the leg while claiming victory, and his employment of beggars as his foot soldiers galvanize the comic aspect of the play and make for a hilarious & farcical sublot. Interestingly, in the bar in Eastcheap, Prince Hal alludes to his future persecution of Falstaff when he is crowned king.
I strongly recommend Henry IV Part I to all Shakespeare aficionados seeing as I deem it in the top five of all Shakespeare's works along with Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, & Henry V. Now on to Part II. Adieu.
"The better part of valor is discretion." - Falstaff
If you only know Shakespeare by the fact that he existed and was a play writer and you decide that you want to read one of his history plays and the history play that you pick happens to be King Henry IV part one then just reading the text alone will be extremely confusing. Barbara Hodgdon has done an amazing job editing this play and her notes are extremely helpful besides her explication of this play there are historical graphics and historical maps that will help you when reading or seeing the works of Shakespeare. This book is more than a college textbook, it is enjoyable historical reading. Craig Barr.
Story: NA. It is Shakespeare. However, it has a great deal of comedy for a historical play.
Production: As always, with Archangel, it is excellent. It has one flaw. They do not signal the end of the disk. I do not know why when many other CD books do.