Henry IV, Part One has been one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays since it was first produced, and was reprinted several times during the playwright’s lifetime. The play encompasses the tragic pathos of Hotspur’s death, the thrill of Hal’s battlefield valor, the intrigue of power politics, and the broad humor of tavern scenes. It has been performed as a play that celebrates England and engenders national pride, but also as a play that thumbs its nose at patriotism and notions of empire.
This Broadview Edition provides a discussion of the play’s performance history, and both the introduction and footnotes encourage readers to think about the play as a performance text. The appendices gather a selection of historical sources and contemporary philosophical and political writings from England and Europe, and interleaved pages throughout the play provide illustrations and extended discussion of key phrases, plot points, and allusions. Further historical and performance materials are available on the Internet Shakespeare Editions website.
“Deftly combining explanation with new ideas, Rosemary Gaby’s edition of Henry IV, Part One encapsulates the field. It consists of a thoughtful introduction; a full production history; and a crisp text clearly annotated. It additionally supplies a wealth of background and source materials, ensuring that the reader can fully understand the play’s context. This is an integrated text that will be useful for students and teachers alike. I thoroughly recommend it.” — Tiffany Stern, University of Oxford
“The edition offers a pleasantly readable text, with a clear, elegant font and a layout that carries enough annotation to help the reader alongside the lines and in footnotes. Longer explanatory notes—succinct and informative—are placed in separate panels, and the introductory matter is admirably judged and authoritative. This is an edition that will be a pleasure to work with in the classroom, for private study, and in the rehearsal room. I look forward to using it.” — Russell Jackson, University of Birmingham