"The Life of King Henry the Fift” [with,] “The First Part of King Henry the Sixt" [with,] "The Second Part of King Henry the Sixt". with the Death of the Good Duke Humfrey" [with,] "The Third Part of King Henry the Sixt. with the Death of the Duke of Yorke.

([London]: [by Thomas Cotes for Robert Allot], 1632).

A FINE SET OF FOUR COMPLETE HISTORIES EXTRACTED FROM THE SECOND FOLIO EDITION OF SHAKESPEARE'S COMEDIES, HISTORIES, AND TRAGEDIES , a cornerstone--and some would say foundation--of English literature. While the complete Second Folio is one of the book collector's great prizes, a status well reflected in its price these days, this is an opportunity to acquire four of the plays from the volume bound separately.
More then just celebrating one of the most charismatic monarchs in British history, King Henry V is widely recognized as Shakespeare’s most patriotic play. For in its themes, actions and characters, it not only celebrates a sense of Englishness, but it extolls, as shown most clearly with his four captains, how Henry manages to unite the Welsh, Scottish and Irish under one unified leadership as well. Further, Henry not only appeals to the commonalities between all of the soldiers of all of the lands he rules, but also between soldiers of different classes, transforming his disparate troops into ‘a band of brothers’. In doing so Henry has managed to create a form of equality between noble and commoner, and between Englishman, Welshman and Scott under a sort of common umbrella of Englishness as Henry refers to ALL of them as “Noblest English”.
The verse found within the play resounds with the rhetoric of nationalistic fervor. It is the very essence of a “Boys Own” adventure story; full of fighting scenes, and victories by sadly depleted, underfed, and highly stressed forces against insurmountable odds. It is a story to stir the blood, and is filled with patriotic speeches that are strangely reminiscent of Winston Churchill’s speeches during World War Two. The play is often performed for patriotic intent, most often to raise morale among the people during wartime, such as in its first major (and extremely successful) film adaptation directed by, and starring, Laurence Olivier. It is a colourful and highly stylised version which begins in the Globe Theatre and then gradually shifts to a realistic evocation of the Battle of Agincourt.  Olivier's film was made during the Second World War and was intended as a patriotic rallying cry at the time of the invasion of Normandy. It was Churchill’s government who funded the movie in order to dedicate it to the RAF pilots, with the idea being that just like Henry and his men going into the Battle of Agincourt, the pilots were up against insurmountable odds but would bravely overcome them. In fact, Churchill even used some of Henry’s dialog in his own speech to the RAF.
References: William Shakespeare. King Henry V. ed. by T.W. Craik Routledge, 1995: Shakespeare’s Globe Education, Henry V Character Studies, The Shakespeare Globe Trust: Literature Network Forums, The patriotism of Shakespeare in Henry V, 2005: Sonková, Markéta Propaganda on Screen: Adapting Shakespeare’s Henry V, 2017: The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare's History Plays By Cambridge University Press, 2002. Item #33243

2 volumes. FOUR COMPLETE HISTORIES FROM THE FAMED SECOND FOLIO PRINTING OF SHAKESPEARE'S PLAYS. Folio, handsomely presented in period style quarter brown calf over marbled boards, gilt lettered and ruled on the spine. 69-146; 147-172 pp. Very handsome, fine and large copies, the bindings in excellent condition, the textblock with only a bit of the typical very mild aging.

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Price: $22,500.00