Far more than any professional historian, Shakespeare is responsible for whatever tions 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 engaging 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.
Peter Saccio is Leon D. Black Professor of Shakespearean Studies and Professor of English at Dartmouth College.