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About the book
  • Published: 1 February 2016
  • ISBN: 9780141396651
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $19.99

Richard III




As the dust settles on England after bloody civil war, the bitter hunchback Richard, brother of the king, is secretly plotting to seize the throne. Charming and duplicitous, powerfully eloquent and viciously cruel, he is prepared to go to any lengths to achieve his goal. 

A history play whose villainous usurper is one of William Shakespeare's most memorably cunning and sinister characters, Richard III is edited by E.A.J. Honigmann with an introduction by Michael Taylor in Penguin Shakespeare.
'Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York'
Richard of York, the bitter, deformed brother of King Edward IV, is secretly plotting to seize the throne of England. Charming and duplicitous, powerfully eloquent and viciously cruel, he is prepared to go to any lengths to achieve his goal. In his skilful manipulation of events and people - coercing the king into eliminating the Duke of Clarence, next in line to the throne; imprisoning the King's sons, princes Edward and Richard, in the Tower of London; and purging court of any who might oppose his rule - Richard is a chilling incarnation of the lure of evil and the temptation of power.
This book contains a general introduction to Shakespeare's life and Elizabethan theatre, a separate introduction to Richard III, a chronology, suggestions for further reading, an essay discussing performance options on both stage and screen, and a commentary.
Richard III is the concluding drama in Shakespeare's cycle of plays about the Wars of the Roses, following Henry VI, Parts I, II and III.
'Exciting, funny, sexy and violent'
Sir Ian McKellen

  • Pub date: 1 February 2016
  • ISBN: 9780141396651
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, and was baptised on 26 April 1564. His father was a glove maker and wool merchant and his mother, Mary Arden, was the daughter of a well-to-do local land owner. Shakespeare was probably educated in Stratford’s grammar school. In 1582 he married Anne Hathaway, and the couple had a daughter the following year and twins in 1585.

Shakespeare’s theatrical life seems to have commenced around 1590. We do know that he was part of the Lord Chamberlain’s Company, which was renamed the King’s Company in 1603 when James I succeeded to the throne. The Company acquired interests in two theatres in the Southwark area of London, near the banks of the Thames - the Globe and the Blackfriars.

Shakespeare’s poetry was published before his plays, with two poems appearing in 1593 and 1594, dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton. Most of Shakespeare’s sonnets were probably written at this time as well.

Records of Shakespeare’s plays begin to appear in 1594, and he produced roughly two a year until around 1611. His earliest plays include Henry VI and Titus Andronicus. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Richard II all date from the mid to late 1590s. Some of his most famous tragedies were written in the early 1600s; these include Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth and Antony & Cleopatra. His late plays, often known as the Romances, date from 1608 onwards and include The Tempest.

Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623 and is known as ‘the First Folio’.

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