Henry V (1599)
1600 quarto of Henry V
- First official record: mentioned in the Stationers' Register on a flyleaf dated 4 August 1600 as "Henry the ffift." Grouped with Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It and Ben Jonson's Every Man in His Humour under the heading "to be staied." Who wrote the note, the exact nature of the grouping of plays, and the meaning of "to be staied" is unknown, but is thought to have been an attempt by the Lord Chamberlain's Men to prevent unauthorised printing of the plays listed. Henry V was formally entered into the Register by Thomas Pavier on 14 August as "The historye of Henrye the vth wth the battell of Agencourt."
- First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1600 as The cronicle history of Henry the fift, with his battell fought at Agin Court in France. Togither with Auntient Pistoll (printed by Thomas Creede for Thomas Millington and John Busby). This text was republished in 1602 (by Creede for Thomas Pavier) and 1619, as part of William Jaggard's "False Folio" (printed by Pavier). The 1619 text is falsely dated 1608. The 1623 First Folio text appears under the title The Life of Henry the Fift.
- Additional information (publication): the 1600 quarto text has traditionally been considered a bad quarto, and was one of the original texts in relation to which Alfred W. Pollard coined the term. However, in his 2000 edition of the quarto text for the New Cambridge: The Early Quartos series, Andrew Gurr argues that although the text was partially constructed from memory, it also represents a performance text, an abridged version of the Folio text constructed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men specifically for performance.
- First recorded performance: 7 January 1605 at court, performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men for King James.
- Evidence: of all Shakespeare's plays, Henry V is perhaps the easiest to date. A reference by the Chorus to the 1599 Irish expedition of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex (5.0.29-34) means the play was most likely written sometime between 27 March 1599 (when Essex left for Ireland) and 24 September 1599 (when he returned in disgrace).