William Shakespeare, Henry VIII

Gordon McMullan (King's College London)
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Unusually for a play in the Shakespeare canon, it is possible to be quite precise about the date of Henry VIII, since in the course of the first recorded performance on 29th June 1613, the Globe theatre caught fire and burned down. Contemporary reports describe it as a “new” play at this time, though it was also staged at the Blackfriars, the King's company’s indoor theatre, where performance would have been particularly resonant due to the theatre’s location in the very same hall in which the divorce hearing of Henry VIII and Katharine of Aragon – an historical event dramatised at a key point in the play – had taken place eighty-four years earlier. The first printed text of the play,…

4024 words

Citation: McMullan, Gordon. "Henry VIII". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 June 2002; last revised 02 December 2020. [https://staging.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=15151, accessed 26 February 2024.]

15151 Henry VIII 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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