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The raigne of King Edvvard the third.
1596

STC 7501, title page

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STC 7501, title page
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Title: The raigne of King Edvvard the third: as it hath bin sundrie times plaied about the citie of London.
Date: London: Printed [by T. Scarlet] for Cuthbert Burby, 1596.
Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call number and opening: STC 7501, title page 
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Item Title
The raigne of King Edvvard the third: as it hath bin sundrie times plaied about the citie of London.
Item Date
London : Printed [by T. Scarlet] for Cuthbert Burby, 1596.
Repository
Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call Number
STC 7501, title page

Institution Rights and Document Citation

Terms of use
Images that are under Folger copyright are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This allows you to use our images without additional permission provided that you cite the Folger Shakespeare Library as the source and you license anything you create using the images under the same or equivalent license. For more information, including permissions beyond the scope of this license, see Permissions. The Folger waives permission fees for non-commercial publication by registered non-profits, including university presses, regardless of the license they use. For images copyrighted by an entity other than the Folger, please contact the copyright holder for permission information.

Copy specific information
Title: The raigne of King Edvvard the third: as it hath bin sundrie times plaied about the citie of London.
Date: London: Printed [by T. Scarlet] for Cuthbert Burby, 1596.
Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call number and opening: STC 7501, title page 
View online bibliographic record

Edward III was published anonymously in 1596, and was one of three plays attributed to Shakespeare in the catalogue of books appended to Thomas Goffe’s The Careless Shepherdess in 1656. The other two plays, Edward II and Edward IV, were written by Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Heywood respectively, and the attribution  to Shakespeare carries no verifiable weight. The play was not include in the 1623 First Folio, but it is unknown whether the play (which dates perhaps to 1593-4) ever entered the repertory of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.

In 1760, Edward Capell published Prolusions; or, Select Pieces of Antient Poetry, in which he made the first substantial claim that Shakespeare was the author of this play. Although Capell did not include it in his own edition of Shakespeare in 1768, several compilers of doubtful plays in the nineteenth century included the play and debated its authorship, and it was included in C.F. Tucker Brooke’s The Shakespeare Apocrypha (1908).

In the twentieth century, a consensus has emerged that Shakespeare collaborated on this play, and is particularly responsible for the scenes featuring the Countess of Salisbury and perhaps some other sections (Watt 2009, 116-33; Sharpe 2013, 663-70). A very few critics, notably Eric Sams, have attributed the play in its entirety to Shakespeare, but this is a minority view. The play was added to the Riverside Shakespeare (2nd edition, 1997), the Oxford Shakespeare (2nd edition, 2005) and published as an individual volume in the New Cambridge Shakespeare series (1998). At the time of writing, it remains the only anonymously printed non-Folio play that has achieved canonical status. The identity of Shakespeare’s collaborator is a matter of ongoing dispute, but candidates include Marlowe and Thomas Kyd.
 

Written by Peter Kirwan

Sources

William Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Edward III, ed. Eric Sams (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996).

Will Sharpe, "Authorship and Attribution," in William Shakespeare and Others: Collaborative Plays, ed. Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen with Jan Sewell and Will Sharpe (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013): 643-747.

Timothy Irish Watt, "The Authorship of The Raigne of Edward the Third," in Shakespeare, Computers, and the Mystery of Authorship, ed. Hugh Craig and Arthur F. Kinney (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009): 116-33.
 

Last updated March 25, 2018