Henry VI, Part 2 1590–1591
We know from Henslowe's records that Shakespeare's Henry VI was the biggest money earner of the 1592 theatre season. We also know WIll never looked back from this point. But we don't know more than that. It seems likely that Henry VI i and iii might have been the first prequel and sequel in theatre history (though honesty compels us to point out that here, as elsewhere, Marlowe has a better claim with Tamburlaine which was conceivd in two parts). This would have been the busiest point of Will's career. De Vere spent 1592 and 1593 trying to turn his fortunes around. he would have had no time for theatre, let alone the hours that WIll must have been putting in.
The common Oxfordian insistence on Shakespeare's legal background takes a serious blow to the head when Jack Cade and Dick decide the first thing to do to improve society is "Kill all the lawyers"
- Wikipedia Chronology
- First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers' Register on 12 March 1594 as a booke intituled, the firste parte of the Contention of the twoo famous houses of york and Lancaster.
- First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1594 as The First part of the Contention betwixt the two famous Houses of Yorke and Lancaster, with the death of the good Duke Humphrey: And the banishment and death of the Duke of Suffolke, and the Tragicall end of the proud Cardinal of Winchester, with the notable Rebellion of Jack Cade: and the Duke of Yorke's first claim unto the Crowne. Play as it exists today first published in the First Folio (1623) as The second Part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the Good Duke Humfrey.
- First recorded performance: although it is known that the play was definitely performed in Shakespeare's day, the first recorded performance was not until 23 April 1864 at the Surrey Theatre, directed by James Anderson.
- Evidence: It is known that 3 Henry VI was on stage by early 1592, and it is also known that 3 Henry VI was definitely a sequel to 2 Henry VI, meaning 2 Henry VImust also have been on stage by early 1592 as well. This places the likely date of composition as 1590–1591.
- Full text of play