Monday, 13 August 2012

Shakespeare's Richard 11

Mather Brown, Richard II Resigning the Crown (1801) The Boydell Shakespeare Prints
King Richard the Second is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to be written in approximately 1595. It is based on the life of King Richard II of England (ruled 1377–1399) and is the first part of a tetralogy, referred to by some scholars as the Henriad, followed by three plays concerning Richard's successors: Henry IV, part 1, Henry IV, part 2, and Henry V. It may not have been written as a stand-alone work. Although the First Folio (1623) edition of Shakespeare's works lists the play as a history play, the earlier Quarto edition of 1597 calls itself The tragedie of King Richard the second. Read more on Wikipedia

Lowry was taken by his father Arthur to see a production of the play at the Birkenhead Hippodrome circa 1918/19. No details of the production are available. Arthur Lowry loved Shakespeare and took the text along to read between acts. (Bowker Pursued By Furies Pgs16-17)

Lowry refers to the play in his short story 'Through The Panama'; "A poem by Conrad Aiken, a performance of Richard II when he was 10 years old at the Birkenhead Hippodrome, a gramophone record of Frankie Trumbauer's with Eddie Lang, Venuti and Beiderbecke, and a French film directed by Zilke (rhymes with Rilke?) called the Tragedy of a Duck." (Pg. 121)

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