One of a series on Shakespeare's original texts, including facsimile pages, this version of "Henry V" is claimed to be, in some ways, the most authentic version of the play that we have. Included are an introduction, notes, and a theoretical, historical and contextual critique. The original text - or First Quarto - of "Henry V", published in 1600, is missing the Chorus, a dramatic device which recent criticism has used to suggest a strikingly modern view of history and politics. These and other significant changes mean that critics can no longer assume that the play presents a distanced, ironic perspective on its own political and military action. If Elizabethan audiences saw in performance something closer to the First Folio than the 1623 Folio text, then their dramatic engagement with history was of a kind very different from that of the play's 20th-century interpreters. This new edition makes available the original text of "Henry V", in all its theatrical simplicity and historical difference.
Graham Holderness, Bryan Loughrey