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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $12.50
  • December 2008
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-92959-1
  • 448 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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Richard III

Norton Critical Editions


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William Shakespeare (Author), Thomas Cartelli (Editor, Muhlenberg College)


In The Tragedy of King Richard III, Shakespeare chronicles the rise and fall of one of history’s most repellent, and the theater’s most mesmerizing, figures.

This Norton Critical Edition of Richard III is based on the First Quarto (1597) edition of the play with interpolations from the First Folio (1623). The play is accompanied by a preface, explanatory annotations, A Note on the Text, a list of Textual Variants, and eighteen illustrations of seminal scenes from major dramatic productions and film versions of the play.

“Contexts” provides readers with the sources and analogues that informed Shakespeare’s composition of Richard III. These include excerpts from Robert Fabyan’s New Chronicles of England and France, Thomas More’s The History of King Richard III, Edward Hall’s The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York, A Mirror for Magistrates, and The True Tragedy of Richard III. A selection from Colley Cibber’s eighteenth-century adaptation records the compromised form in which Richard III held the stage for approximately two hundred years before twentieth-century editors brought it back into recognizable shape. A representative selection of commentary on stage and film reproductions of Richard III is also provided, ranging from reviews of nineteenth-century productions by William Hazlitt and George Bernard Shaw, a survey of stage performances by Scott Colley, and in-depth analyses of twentieth-century film adaptations by Saskia Kossak, Barbara Hodgdon, and Peter S. Donaldson.

“Criticism” collects eight major pieces of scholarship, including early accounts of the play’s major themes by William Richardson and Edward Dowden, modern critical assessments by Wilbur Sanders, Elihu Pearlman, Linda Charnes, Katherine Maus, and Ian Moulton, and an essay by Harry Berger Jr. especially commissioned for this volume.

A Selected Bibliography is also included.


    List of Illustrations


    The Text of The Tragedy of King Richard III

    1. A Note on the Text
    2. Textual Variants


    Sources and Analogues

    1. Robert Fabyan, From The New Chronicles of England and France (1516)
    2. Thomas More, From The History of King Richard the Third (1543, 1557, 1565)
    3. Edward Hall, From The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York (1548)
      1. From The Mirror for Magistrates (1559, 1563)
      2. From The True Tragedie of Richard III (1594)


    1. Colley Cibber, From The Tragical History of King Richard III (1700, 1721)

    Richard III on Stage and Screen

    1. William Hazlitt, Mr. Kean’s Richard [Edmund Kean as Richard III at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London]
    2. George Bernard Shaw, [Henry Irving’s Richard III]
    3. Scott Colley, Performing as Gloucester
    4. Saskia Kossak, From Richard III in the Cinema
    5. Barbara Hodgdon, Replication Richard: Body Doubles, Body Politics
    6. Peter S. Donaldson, From Cinema and the Kingdom of Death: Loncraine’s Richard III


    1. Edward Dowden, From The English Historical Plays: King Richard III
    2. Wilbur Sanders, From Providence and Policy in Richard III
    3. E. Pearlman, From The Invention of Richard of Gloucester
    4. Linda Charnes, From Belaboring the Obvious: Reading the Monstrous Body in King Richard III
    5. Katherine Maus, Myself Alone: Richard III as Stage Machiavel
    6. Ian Moulton, From ‘A Monster Great Deformed’: The Unruly Masculinity of Richard III
    7. Harry Berger Jr., Conscience and Complicity in Richard III

    Selected Bibliography