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Is Shakespeare History? The Plantagenets

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Shakespeare's treatment of English Plantagenet history from Richard II to Richard III and all the Henrys in between, written under Elizabeth I.

In the first of two programmes marking In Our Time's 20th anniversary on 15th October, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Shakespeare's versions of history, starting with the English Plantagenets. His eight plays from Richard II to Richard III were written out of order, in the Elizabethan era, and have had a significant impact on the way we see those histories today. In the second programme, Melvyn discusses the Roman plays.

The image above is of Richard Burton (1925 - 1984) as Henry V in the Shakespeare play of the same name, from 1951

With

Emma Smith
Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Hertford College, University of Oxford

Gordon McMullan
Professor of English at King’s College London and Director of the London Shakespeare Centre

And

Katherine Lewis
Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Huddersfield

Producer: Simon Tillotson

Available now

42 minutes

LINKS AND FURTHER READING

Emma Smith at the University of Oxford

Gordon McMullan at King's College London

Katherine Lewis at the University of Huddersfield

Discovering Literature: Shakespeare & Renaissance – British Library

Shakespeare Documented – Folger Shakespeare Library

Approaching Shakespeare – University of Oxford podcasts

The History of the Histories - Internet Shakespeare Editions

The Holinshed Project

Richard III Society - Online Library

Shakespearean history - Wikipedia

 

READING LIST:

Christine Carpenter, The Wars of the Roses: Politics and the Constitution in England c. 1437-1509 (Cambridge University Press, 2008)

Peter Conrad, Shakespeare: The Theatre of Our World (Head of Zeus, 2018)

Richard Dutton and Jean E. Howard (eds), A Companion to Shakespeare’s Works: Volume II: The Histories (Blackwell, 2003)

Stephen Greenblatt (ed.), The Norton Shakespeare: Histories (Norton & Co., 2016)

Stephen Greenblatt, Tyrant: Shakespeare On Power (Bodley Head, 2018)

Michael Hattaway (ed), The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare’s History Plays (Cambridge University Press, 2002)

Jean E. Howard and Phyllis Rackin, Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare’s English Histories (Routledge, 1997)

Isabel Karremann, The Drama of Memory in Shakespeare’s History Plays (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

A.J. Pollard (ed.), The Wars of the Roses (Palgrave, 2001)

Peter Saccio, Shakespeare’s English Kings: History, Chronicles and Drama (Oxford University Press, 1977)

James Shapiro, 1599: A Year in the Life of WIlliam Shakespeare (Faber & Faber, 2006)

 

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