This book recounts English history during the reigns of eight Plantagenet kings and one Tudor. (Prefatory Note to the First Edition)
This new edition is not prompted by fresh discoveries about the rudimentary facts of English medieval history: the same kings fought the same battles and died in the same years. (Prefatory Note to the Second Edition)
Luther, on the other hand, suggested a relationship between Henry and the deity that, in my opinion, more closely approximates the real king: "Junker Heintz," Luther remarked, "will be God, and does whatever he lusts."
Thus only in the last three decades of their 330 years of rule over England did this remarkable family establish in popular awareness the name by which they would be known to history. (Appendix on Names and Titles)
Far more than any professional historian, Shakespeare is responsible for whatever notions most of us possess about English medieval history. Anyone who appreciates the dramatic action of Shakespeare's history plays but is confused by much of the historical detail will welcome this guide to the Richards, Edwards, Henrys, Warwicks and Norfolks who ruled and fought across Shakespeare's page and stage. Not only theater-goers and students, but today's film-goers who want to enrich their understanding of film adaptations of plays such as Richard III and Henry V will find this revised edition of Shakespeare's English Kings to be an essential companion. Saccio's engaging narrative weaves together three threads: medieval English history according to the Tudor chroniclers who provided Shakespeare with his material, that history as understood by modern scholars, and the action of the plays themselves. Including a new preface, a revised further reading list, genealogical charts, an appendix of names and titles, and an index, the second edition of Shakespeare's English Kings offers excellent background reading for all of the ten history plays.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:19 -0400)
For theatre goers, filmgoers, students. Who are appreciative of the play's dramatic action but are confused by much of the historical detail of the Richards, Edwards, Henrys, Warwicks and Norfolks.