Episode 013 – Henry VI, Part 1: A History

William Hamilton, “Joan of Arc and the Furies”, 1790s, oil on canvas

“Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends.”

— Alençon, Act III, scene ii

In episode #13, a quick jaunt through the critical fortunes of Henry VI, Part 1, not an historically beloved play. From the “prequel” question to the plays role as a barometer of Britain’s feelings on nationalism, to just how many times a play can cut Talbot, Joan, or both! Come join me.

Listen to episodes at iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Castbox, or download direct from Libsyn. The Patreon campaign is up and running, with bonus Sonnet episodes! You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, or by email at podcastshakespeare@gmail.com. We also have a Spotify playlist, which will be updated as we work through the plays.

Key links below. You can also visit the bibliography page here, which is a work in progress.

Links mentioned:

E.M.W Tillyard and the “Tudor Myth

Key source: Edward Hall, The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and Yorke (1548)

Key source: Raphael Holinshed, Chronicles of England, Scotland ,and Ireland (1577)

E.K. Chambers, William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems, 1930

Thomas Nashe, Defence of Plays from “Pierce Penniless” (1592)

Emrys Jones, Origins of Shakespeare, 1977

Jonathan Bate, Genius of Shakespeare, 1997

Marjorie Garber, Shakespeare After All, 2004

Shakespeare And Marlowe: Attributing Henry VI Authorship” – Folger Library

Festival of Britain, 1951

Birmingham Rep Theatre:

BBC An Age of Kings (1960)

Royal Shakespeare Company

John Barton and Peter Hall, RSC Wars of the Roses (1963): “The Inheritance” and “Margaret of Anjou” on Youtube

Jane Howell, BBC The First Part of Henry the Sixt (1983) at BFI Screenonline

English Shakespeare Company: Wars of the Roses (1988) d: Michael Bogdanov

Jan Kott (1914-2001), Shakespeare Our Contemporary (1961) – profiled by Michael Billington in The Guardian

Edward Hall, Rose Rage (2001), Propeller Theatre Company

Shakespeare’s Rugby Wars: Toronto Fringe Festival

Michael Boyd, This England (2001) – Royal Shakespeare Company

Yushi Odashima, complete translations of Shakespeare into Japanese: at Oxford Reference

Bell Shakespeare, Wars of the Roses (2005 – 2008), reviewed by Alison Croggon

Benedict Andrews, Wars of the Roses (2010) for Sydney Theatre Company, reviewed by Alison Croggon

Globe Theatre: Wars of the Roses Battlefield Performances, review in Telegraph

Seattle Shakespeare Company, Bring Down the House (2016), review in Seattle Times

Dominic Cooke, Henry VI, BBC Hollow Crown cycle (2016)


Donald Sinden (Plantagenet), RSC Wars of the Roses “The Inheritance” (1965)


Sergei Prokofiev, “Montagues and Capulets”, from Romeo and Juliet (ballet), 1935

Armand Broshka, The Sadness of King Henry VI

Tchaikovsky, The Maid of Orléans , 1881, Jeanne’s aria performed by Elena Obraztsova

Ralph Vaughan Williams, Serenade to Music (1938) from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice

Giuseppe Verdi, Overture from Giovanna d’Arco (Joan of Arc), 1845

Henry Ley, The Prayer of King Henry VI (c. 1940), The King’s Singers


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