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The tragedie of King Richard the second.
1598

STC 22309, title page

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STC 22309, 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 been 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 solde 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 22309, title page
View online bibliographic record

Item Creator
William Shakespeare
Item Title
The tragedie of King Richard the second. As it hath been 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 solde at his shop in Paules churchyard, at the signe of the Angel, 1598.
Repository
Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC, USA
Call Number
STC 22309, 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 been 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 solde 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 22309, title page
View online bibliographic record

Shakespeare’s Richard II was printed in a third quarto edition in 1598, the same year as its second edition. As was the case with the first two editions, London bookseller Andrew Wise was the publisher. Besides publishing the first three editions of Richard II, Wise was an active publisher of Shakespeare’s plays, publishing the earliest quarto editions of Richard III, Henry IV Part 1 and Part 2, and Much Ado About Nothing. With three editions in two years, Richard II was one of the most popular plays in print, not only of Shakespeare but of any dramatist in the 1590s. 

Like the title page of the second edition, the title page of the third edition of Richard II identifies Shakespeare as the play’s author. Prior to 1598, Shakespeare’s printed playbooks 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 third 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 three listed in the English Short Title Catalogue, and is part of the Folger Shakespeare Library collection. It was once owned by American book collector William Augustus White, who inscribes his name and date on the front endleaf: “W.A. White, 17 Feby, 1890.” It was collated by A.S.W. Rosenbach on June 27, 1922.

To learn more about this play, see the Folger’s page on Richard II, 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