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THE

HISTORICAL

SHAKSPEARIAN READER:

COMPRISING

THE “HISTORIES," OR, “CHRONICLE PLAYS”

OF

SHAKSPEARE;

CAREFULLY EXPURGATED AND REVISED, WITH

INTRODUCTORY AND EXPLANATORY NOTES.

EXPRESSLY ADAPTED FOR THE USE OF SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, AND THE

FAMILY READING CIRCLE.

BY

JOHN W. S. HOWS,
AUTHOR OF THE "SHAKSPEARIAN READER," ETC., ETC.

“Shakspeare's English Histories are the text book of a large portion
of English History to all of English blood, and rightly so, because they more than
compensate for their slight inaccuracies of detail by the vividness and force with
which they give the 'very form and pressure' of those times.”

G. C. VERPLANCK.

NEW YORK:
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY,

443 & 445 BROADWAY.

1863.

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ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1863, by

JOHN W. S. HOWS,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern

District of New York,

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PREFACE.

My “ Shakspearian Reader”, was published sixteen years ago, with the hope of making Shakspeare a “Text Book” for schools. The experiment at that time was considered one of doubtful success : the work however has become a standard” in educational literature, and a continuation of selections from the Poet's works is now demanded. In preparing a second series, those Plays have been selected that would best subserve my original design. The Historical, or Chronicle Plays of Shakspeare seemed expressly adapted for this purpose. The ablest writers have declared them to be invaluable adjuncts to the study of English history, presenting, as they do, a truthful narration of events, drawn from accredited chronicles of the times, and vivid pictures of the manners, habits, and customs of the people. This marvellous power of truthful characterization, with which the poet has invested the leading historical personages, makes them invaluable aids to the youthfal student.

The original text of Shakspeare is given as fully as the prescribed limits of this volume would allow; the continuity of the action is preserved by explanatory notes. Knowing, from long practical experience, that it is impossible to introduce Shakspeare as an educational work, in its original entirety, the same rigid expurgation and revision have been adopted, as were rendered imperative in my first series. This latter portion of my task has been executed, in a due reverential spirit for the purity and integrity of the text.

JNO. W. S. Hows.

Ő Cottage Place, New York,

April 16, 1863.

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