King Henry V

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Createspace Independent Pub, Jul 11, 2014 - Fiction - 222 pages
Henry V is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1599. It tells the story of King Henry V of England, focusing on events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Years' War.The play is the final part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2. The original audiences would thus have already been familiar with the title character, who was depicted in the Henry IV plays as a wild, undisciplined lad known as "Prince Harry" and by Falstaff as "Hal."Henry V (9 August 1386 - 31 August 1422) was King of England from 1413 until his death at the age of 36 in 1422. He was the second English monarch of the House of Lancaster.In his youth, Henry gained military experience fighting the Welsh during the revolt of Owain Glyndwr, and against the powerful aristocratic House of Percy of Northumberland, at the Battle of Shrewsbury. Henry later came into political conflict with his father, Henry IV, whose health was increasingly precarious from 1405 onward, and who had consequently started to withdraw from government functions. After his father's death in 1413, Henry assumed control of the country, and asserted the pending English claims to the French throne.In 1415, Henry embarked on war with France in the ongoing Hundred Years' War (1337-1453) between the two nations. His military successes culminated in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt (1415) and saw him come close to conquering France. Taking advantage of political divisions within France, he conquered large portions of the kingdom, and Normandy became English for the first time in 200 years. After months of negotiation with Charles VI of France, the Treaty of Troyes (1420) recognised Henry V as regent and heir apparent to the French throne, and he was subsequently married to Charles's daughter, Catherine of Valois (1401-1437).Following Henry V's sudden and unexpected death in France two years later, he was succeeded by his infant son, who reigned as Henry VI in England and Henry II in France. The lack of unity and of a political consensus in Henry VI's regency government, coupled with his subsequent ineffectual rule, would jeopardize Henry V's gains and undermine English rule in France.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bookworm12 - LibraryThing

Henry VIII is the final play in the histories series. Although it’s frequently challenged as being written solely by Shakespeare, I'm accepting it as part of the canon. The histories begin ... Read full review

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User Review  - mstrust - LibraryThing

Henry has decided to divorce his first wife, Katherine, after twenty years of marriage, in order to marry Anne Bullen. At his side is the manipulative Cardinal Wolsey, common born yet with the King ... Read full review

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About the author (2014)

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

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