The Henry VI plays

By Stuart Hampton-Reeves and Carol Chillington Rutter

The Henry VI plays


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8093-7
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: April 2009
  • BIC Category: Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800, Literature, Literary studies: plays & playwrights, Literary studies: general, PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / History & Criticism, LITERARY CRITICISM / Shakespeare, Literature & literary studies / Shakespeare studies & criticism
  • Series: Shakespeare in Performance


The Henry VI plays are Shakespeare's earliest, most theatrically exciting plays and in their day, they were among his most popular works. In a story which stretches over thirty years, Shakespeare dramatises the fall of the House of Lancaster and creates some of his most compelling characters, among them the Queen Margaret and the wildly ambitious Richard, Duke of Gloucester (the future Richard III).

Modern productions have become landmark works that have defined institutions such as the Royal Shakespeare Company and the English Shakespeare Company. This book, the first major study of the Henry VI plays in performance, focuses on the cultural context of modern British productions on stage and screen which have explored Shakespeare's troubling depiction of England in crisis and related those themes to contemporaneous questions of national identity.


Introduction: Henry VI and national culture
1. Playing Henry VI in the early modern period
2. Rediscoveries: Nation, war and empire (1899-1953)
3. The Wars of the Roses: The RSC's Henry VI and Edward IV (1963 - 4)
4. A true trilogy: The RSC's Henry VI (1977-79)
5. Henry VI and the BBC (1960 and 1981-3)
6. English counter-histories: The ESC's House of Lancaster and House of York (1987-89)
7. Acts of war: The RSC's The Plantagenets (1988-1990)
8. Plundering in front of hell: The RSC's Henry VI - The Battle For the Throne (1994-1995)
9. Black comedies: The RSC's millennial Henry VI (2000-2001)
Appendix: Cast and crew


Stuart Hampton-Reeves is Principal Lecturer in English and Drama at the University of Central Lancashire. Carol Chillington Rutter is Professor of English at the University of Warwick

The Henry VI plays

By Stuart Hampton-Reeves, Carol Chillington Rutter

Paperback £15.99 / $23.95

Hardcover £80.00 / $120.00

Or buy from your preferred bookseller:

Amazon Waterstones Blackwells

Click here for North and South America

Sign up to our newsletter
and receive 30% off all future book orders

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout