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The history of Henry the fourth
1608

STC 22283 copy 1, title page

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STC 22283 copy 1, title page
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Images that are under Folger copyright are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This allows you to use our images without additional permission provided that you cite the Folger Shakespeare Library as the source and you license anything you create using the images under the same or equivalent license. For more information, including permissions beyond the scope of this license, see Permissions. The Folger waives permission fees for non-commercial publication by registered non-profits, including university presses, regardless of the license they use. For images copyrighted by an entity other than the Folger, please contact the copyright holder for permission information.

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Creator: William Shakespeare
Title: The history of Henry the fourth : vvith the battell at Shrewseburie, betweene the King, and Lord Henry Percy, surnamed Henry Hotspur of the north ; with the humorous conceites of Sir Iohn Falstalffe [sic] / newly corrected by W. Shake-speare.
Date: London : Printed for Mathew Law, and are to be sold at his shop in Paules Church-yard, neere vnto S. Augustines gate, at the signe of the Foxe, 1608.
Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call number and opening: STC 22283 copy 1, title page
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Item Creator
William Shakespeare
Item Title
The history of Henry the fourth : vvith the battell at Shrewseburie, betweene the King, and Lord Henry Percy, surnamed Henry Hotspur of the north ; with the humorous conceites of Sir Iohn Falstalffe [sic] / newly corrected by W. Shake-speare.
Item Date
London : Printed for Mathew Law, and are to be sold at his shop in Paules Church-yard, neere vnto S. Augustines gate, at the signe of the Foxe, 1608.
Repository
Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC, USA
Call Number
STC 22283 copy 1, title page

Institution Rights and Document Citation

Terms of use
Images that are under Folger copyright are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This allows you to use our images without additional permission provided that you cite the Folger Shakespeare Library as the source and you license anything you create using the images under the same or equivalent license. For more information, including permissions beyond the scope of this license, see Permissions. The Folger waives permission fees for non-commercial publication by registered non-profits, including university presses, regardless of the license they use. For images copyrighted by an entity other than the Folger, please contact the copyright holder for permission information.

Copy-specific information
Creator: William Shakespeare
Title: The history of Henry the fourth : vvith the battell at Shrewseburie, betweene the King, and Lord Henry Percy, surnamed Henry Hotspur of the north ; with the humorous conceites of Sir Iohn Falstalffe [sic] / newly corrected by W. Shake-speare.
Date: London : Printed for Mathew Law, and are to be sold at his shop in Paules Church-yard, neere vnto S. Augustines gate, at the signe of the Foxe, 1608.
Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call number and opening: STC 22283 copy 1, title page
View online bibliographic record

The fourth edition of Henry IV Part 1 features the same information on its title page as the previous two editions printed in 1599 and 1604, including the claim that it was “Newly corrected by W. Shake-speare.” 

Although this is the fifth printed version of the play, it is usually referred to as “Q4” because it is the fourth quarto to survive fully intact, as only a fragment of the first quarto, “Q0,” has survived. Like the prior edition, this quarto appeared after Henry IV Part 2 was printed in 1600, but it nevertheless retained the standalone title “The History of Henry the Fourth,” which omits any indication that the play would be considered part of a larger work. This is not unusual; for example, the first part of Thomas Heywood’s pair of history plays If You Know Not Me You Know Nobody, or The Troubles of Queen Elizabeth, first printed in 1605, retained its stand alone title after the second part was printed in 1606. The retention of a standalone title for Henry IV Part 1 suggests that contemporary publishers thought it worked effectively as a self-contained drama. This belief is supported by the play's immense popularity among readers: only Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy had also reached a fifth printing by 1608.

Published by Matthew Law, who also released a new edition of Richard II in 1608, the fourth edition of Henry IV Part 1 followed a brief revival of interest in history plays. This vogue began around 1605, when plays about Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and the legendary Briton King Leir were printed (Shakespeare's King Lear, first published in 1608, is classified as a history on its title page). To print this fifth version of Henry IV Part 1, Law hired John Windet, who had been printing most of Law's books since 1606. An experienced printer of playbooks, Windet also worked on the anonymous play How a Man May Choose a Good Wife from a Bad for Law in 1608, and he would print an edition of Romeo and Juliet the following year.

This copy is one of two at the Folger Shakespeare Library and one of seven recorded in the English Short Title Catalogue. To learn more about Henry IV Part 1, see the Folger 's Shakespeare’s Works, and the British Library’s Shakespeare in Quarto, which also includes information about another copy of this edition.

Written by Justin Kuhn

Sources

DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks. Ed. Alan B. Farmer and Zachary Lesser. Created 2007. <deep.sas.upenn.edu>.
English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC). British Library. <estc.bl.uk>
David Scott Kastan, eds. King Henry IV: Part 1 (London: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2002).

Last updated March 19, 2018