Samuel Daniel's \(First\ Four\) \(Books\) \(of\) \(the\) \(Civil\) \(Wars\) and Shakespeare's early history plays

Weiss, David S. (2018). Samuel Daniel's \(First\ Four\) \(Books\) \(of\) \(the\) \(Civil\) \(Wars\) and Shakespeare's early history plays. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Literary scholars agree that William Shakespeare used Samuel Daniel's First Four Books of the Civil Wars as a source for his play Richard II, launching an interaction between the authors that lasted for many years. What has not been recognized, however, is that they may have influenced each other's works on English history before the publication of Daniel's epic poem. Textual, bibliographical and biographical evidence suggests that Daniel borrowed from some of Shakespeare's earliest works, the Henry VI plays, while writing The First Four Books, and that Shakespeare could have used a pre-publication manuscript of The Civil Wars to write Richard II. A review of extant versions of The Civil Wars, the Henry VI plays and Richard II reveals a complex relationship between the authors as they wrote and revised works on the Wars of the Roses while both had connections to the Countess of Pembroke and the Earl of Essex. This analysis illuminates the works while disclosing one of the first instances of Shakespeare's plays inspiring another artist, challenging images of Daniel as a poet who disdained theater and Shakespeare as a playwright who cared only about the popularity of his works on stage.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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