The New Cambridge Shakespeare appeals to students worldwide for its up-to-date scholarship and emphasis on performance. The series features line-by-line commentaries and textual notes on the plays and poems. Introductions are regularly refreshed with accounts of new critical, stage and screen interpretations. Edited and introduced by John Margeson, King Henry VIII appears here for the first time in a New Cambridge Shakespeare edition. In his introduction Margeson explores the political and religious background to the play, its pageant-like structure and visual effects, and its varied ironies. He also discusses its stage history, from the famous occasion in 1613 when the Globe theatre burned down during a performance of King Henry VIII to important theatrical productions of the late twentieth century. A balanced account is provided of the authorship controversy that arose in the nineteenth century, when John Fletcher's name was first put forward as a likely collaborator.
List of illustrations; Preface; Abbreviations and conventions; Introduction; Date and occasion; Authorship; Sources; Divided critics; The unity of the play; The verse of the play; Stage history; Note on the text; List of characters; The play; Textual analysis; Reading list; Supplementary notes.