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KING JOHN.
KING RICHARD II.

SECOND PART OF KING HENRY
FIRST PART OF KING HENRY IV.
IV.

EING HENRY V.

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SWAN

LONDON:
SONNENSCHEIN & CO.,
PATERNOSTER SQUARE

1891.

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KING JOHN.

FIRST printed in the folio of 1623. — Though some critics have fancied that they could discover certain "notes of time” in this play, there are, in fact, none : we only know that it was written before 1598, as it is enumerated among works by Shakespeare in Meres's Palladis Tamia, &c., which was published during that year (see the Memoir of Shakespeare).---King John is founded on an older play, in Two Parts, entitled The Troublesome Raigne of lohn King of England, with the discouerie of King Richard Cordelions base sonne (vulgarly named, The Bastard Pawconbridge) : also the death of King Iohn at Swinstead Abbey, &c.,-first printed in 1591, afterwards in 1611, and 1622 :—the earliest edition is without an author's name : but the publisher of the second edition put on the title-page the name “ W. Sh.;” which in the third edition became “W. Shakespeare." By whom it was really written is a vain inquiry : more than one poet would seem to have been concerned in its composition. (See it, reprinted by Steevens, among Twenty of the Plays of Shakespeare, &c., 1766, and by Nichols among Six Old Plays, on which Shakespeare founded, &c., 1779.)

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