Edward III 1594
Well, it's here. Only 40% or so of this play is claimed for Shakespeare but we've included it for two reasons, mainly because the arguments over its provenance are so enlightening. In 2009, Brian Vickers published the results of a computer analysis, with a program designed to detect plagiarism, which suggests that 40% of the play was written by Shakespeare with the other scenes written by Thomas Kyd (1558–1594). He hasn't convinced everybody but there are a lot of similarities between the campaign in France and the later French scenes in Henry V.
Arden and Oxford Editions will soon be available in addition to the Riverside and CUP editions. In all the intense recent effort that has gone into attribution analysis, none of these editors and researchers seems to have spotted any connection to de Vere but you can depend on a slew of biographical similarities turning up once the special talents of Oxfordian scholars are deployed.
- Wikipedia Chronology
- First official record: entered into the Stationers' Register on 1 December 1595 as a booke intituled Edward the Third and the blacke prince their warres wth kinge Iohn of Fraunce.
- First published: published in quarto in 1596 as The Raigne Of King Edvvard the third
- First recorded performance: although it is known from the quarto title page that the play was performed in the 1590s, the earliest recorded performance was not until 6 March 1911 at the Little Theatre in London, directed by Gertrude Kingston and William Poel. However, this production presented only the first half of the play (dealing with the King's infatuation with the Countess of Salisbury). Performed under the title, The King and the Countess, it was presented in a single matinée performance with the anonymous sixteenth century liturgical drama, Jacob and Esau. The first known performance of the complete text took place in June 1987, at the Theatr Clwyd, directed by Toby Robertson.
- Evidence: Obviously, the play was written by December 1595. According to the title page of the quarto, it had been performed recently in London, but no company information is provided. This could mean that the company that performed the play had disbanded during the closure of the theatres from June 1592 to March 1594. Furthermore, internal evidence suggests that the play may have been specifically written for Pembroke's Men, who ceased performing in September 1593. This places the date of composition as most likely somewhere between early 1592 and September 1593.
- Full text of play