This is the first fully annotated and comprehensive modern-spelling edition of King Henry VIII - known in its early performances as All is True - for over ten years. It makes full use of current scholarship on the dating, authorship, printing, and sources of the play, as well as critical interpretations, and includes an up-to-date survey of the play in performance. It is the first edition to make frequent use of Cavendish's life of Cardinal Wolsey,
which seems likely to have influenced certain aspects of the play, as well as the other recognized sources in Holinshed, Hall, and Foxe. On authorship, the editor concludes that Shakespeare and his younger colleague John Fletcher worked on the script together but that Shakespeare was probably
the guiding spirit, as well as the principal author of several major scenes. That they worked closely together is demonstrated through the consistency of style and overall dramatic structure and theme. The differences between them are by comparison minor and have more to do with spelling, punctuation, and versification than with conceptions of character or other more significant features of the play. The distinctions are thoroughly discussed in the General Introduction.
A fully detailed commentary and a selective collation of major variant readings appear immediately beneath the text. Special attention has been given to the frequent allusion to scripture and proverb lore. An index to all words glossed and authorities cited appears at the end of the volume.
Halio gives a useful historical summary of the split from Rome Years Work in English Studies Textual apparatus is of a high standard ... the commentary provides succinct notes on chronological and historical detail, pointed reference to sources used and works that supplement the playwrights' sources, and a comprehensive gloss to problematic words and phrases usefully keyed to a separate index. This is an excellent edition for undergraduate study: the introduction works to consolidate previous critical approaches without itself ever offering restrictive pronouncements on how to read the play, while the text and commentary are set out in a clear, uncrowded manner. Attention to the working needs of the student is evident throughout Matthew Woodcock, University College, Oxford, Sixteenth Century Journal
List of Illustrations
Henry VIII, Shakespeare, and the Reformation in England
Date, Authorship, and Printing
The Language of 'King Henry VIII'
Abbreviations and References
KING HENRY VIII, OR ALL IS TRUE