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The tragedie of King Richard the second.
1598

STC 22308 copy 1, title page

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STC 22308 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 tragedie of King Richard the second. As it hath beene publikely acted by the Right Honourable the Lord Chamberlaine his seruants. By William Shake-speare.
Date: London : Printed by Valentine Simmes for Andrew Wise, and are to be sold at his shop in Paules churchyard at the signe of the Angel, 1598.
Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call number and opening: STC 22308 copy 1, title page
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Item Creator
William Shakespeare
Item Title
The tragedie of King Richard the second. As it hath beene publikely acted by the Right Honourable the Lord Chamberlaine his seruants. By William Shake-speare.
Item Date
London : Printed by Valentine Simmes for Andrew Wise, and are to be sold at his shop in Paules churchyard at the signe of the Angel, 1598.
Repository
Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC, USA
Call Number
STC 22308 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 tragedie of King Richard the second. As it hath beene publikely acted by the Right Honourable the Lord Chamberlaine his seruants. By William Shake-speare.
Date: London : Printed by Valentine Simmes for Andrew Wise, and are to be sold at his shop in Paules churchyard at the signe of the Angel, 1598.
Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call number and opening: STC 22308 copy 1, title page
View online bibliographic record

Richard II was printed in a second quarto edition in 1598, a year after its first printing. It was again published by the London bookseller Andrew Wise and printed by Valentine Simmes. Wise was an active publisher of Shakespeare’s plays, publishing not only the first three editions of Richard II, but also the earliest quarto editions of Richard III, Henry IV Part 1 and Part 2, and Much Ado About Nothing.

In 1598, four quarto editions of Shakespeare’s plays identified him as the dramatic author on the title page: this second edition of Richard II, the third edition of Richard II, the first edition of Love’s Labor’s Lost, and the second edition of Richard III. Prior to the printing of these specific playbooks, Shakespeare’s printed plays did not bear his name. The printing of his name on subsequent title pages may suggest a shift in his reputation as an author with his name becoming an advantageous form of advertisement.

The second edition of Richard II contains a shorter version of the play; the version we are more familiar with today would not be printed until 1608. The longer version features the on-stage deposition of King Richard, a potentially controversial scene. The absence of the “deposition scene” in the first three quarto editions has led critics to debate the possible censorship and revision of Shakespeare’s plays.

The copy shown above is one of eight listed in the English Short Title Catalogue, and is part of the Folger Shakespeare Library collection. It was once owned by 18th century arts patron Charles Jennens. It later became a part of the Curzon-Howe family library in Gopsal Hall, Leicestershire, and was sold by Richard George Penn Curzon-Howe, fourth Earl of Howe to Henry Folger in 1907.

To learn more about this play, 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 Manuel Jacquez

Sources

Charles R. Forker, ed., King Richard II (London: Arden Shakespeare, 2002).

Cyndia Susan Clegg, “‘By the choise and inuitation of al the realme’: Richard II and Elizabethan Press Censorship,” Shakespeare Quarterly 48 (1997), 432-48.

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>

Folger records
 

Last updated February 23, 2017