The Troublesome Reign of John, King of England

By George Peele

Edited by Charles R. Forker

The Troublesome Reign of John, King of England

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9345-0
  • Pages: 384
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: May 2016
  • BIC Category: PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / History & Criticism, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800, Literature & literary studies / Plays, playscripts, Literature, Theatre studies, Plays, playscripts, LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 16th Century
  • Series: The Revels Plays


Forker's critical edition fills the need for a fully annotated, historically contextualised and modernised text of the most important Elizabethan chronicle play apart from Shakespeare and Marlowe's Edward II.

Now attributed definitely to George Peele, this drama helped to establish a major theatrical genre, raising contemporary political and religious issues through the dramatisation of medieval history in a compelling and popular fashion. A major source for Shakespeare, it throws new light on the bard's adaptation of earlier drama and helps to illustrate his working methods.

With the full introduction and generous notes this Revels Plays edition will be the first port of call for students and enthusiasts of Elizabethan and early modern drama.


'Meticulously documented and annotated, Forker's edition is full of riches, and makes a notable addition to scholarship, not just on this play, but on the Elizabethan history play in general.'
Paul Dean, English Studies, Vol. 94, No. 4

'A welcome and much needed reconsideration . . . Forker's edition of The Troublesome Reign represents a landmark study on the play, on Peele, and on Queen's Men dramaturgy. It constitutes essential reading for any academic who is researching or teaching in these areas: either those already familiar with the play's past editions and critical history or those just beginning their study.'
Karen Obere, Early Theatre, 16.1 (2013)


The emergence of a genre
Authorship and date
The play
From The Troublesome Reign to Shakespeare's King John
The text
The Troublesome Reign of John, King of England
Appendix 1: Historical background including longer extracts from the sources
Appendix 2: Unique matches of three consecutive words in The Troublesome Reign with comparable word strings in other plays by Peele


Charles R. Forker is Emeritus Professor of English at Indiana University, Bloomington

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