A gripping tale – Shakespeare’s Kings

This is an excellent book if one wants to know the historical context of Shakespeare ‘s plays on 5 real english kings.
Because the emphasis is on historical kings, you will not find Lear here.

Starting with Edward III and then Henry IV, V AND VI and ending with Richard III, Norwich explains where history stops and drama begins. Throughout we have an illuminating discussion of the historical events and which events are included in the plays. This is where Norwich writes to his strength as a historian.

He has also helpfully narrates in chapters 2 to 4 the real events that led to the opening scene of Richard II. Chapters 2 to 4 are useful to understand Richard II play as it begins at the last one and half years of Richard’s reign.

This is a book to read prior and after watching the plays. The writing is brisk and a delight to read. This is a book for a history like me. I write this review while with my wife on our train journey from London Marylebone Station to Stratford upon Avon on 1 Aug 2019.

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