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THE “HISTORIES," OR, “CHRONICLE PLAYS”
CAREFULLY EXPURGATED AND REVISED, WITH
INTRODUCTORY AND EXPLANATORY NOTES.
EXPRESSLY ADAPTED FOR THE USE OF SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, AND THE
FAMILY READING CIRCLE.
JOHN W. S. HOWS,
“Shakspeare's English Histories are the text book of a large portion
G. C. VERPLANCK.
443 & 445 BROADWAY.
ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1863, by
JOHN W. S. HOWS,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern
District of New York,
My “ Shakspearian Reader”, was published sixteen years ago, with the hope of making Shakspeare a “Text Book” for schools. The experiment at that time was considered one of doubtful success : the work however has become a standard” in educational literature, and a continuation of selections from the Poet's works is now demanded. In preparing a second series, those Plays have been selected that would best subserve my original design. The Historical, or Chronicle Plays of Shakspeare seemed expressly adapted for this purpose. The ablest writers have declared them to be invaluable adjuncts to the study of English history, presenting, as they do, a truthful narration of events, drawn from accredited chronicles of the times, and vivid pictures of the manners, habits, and customs of the people. This marvellous power of truthful characterization, with which the poet has invested the leading historical personages, makes them invaluable aids to the youthfal student.
The original text of Shakspeare is given as fully as the prescribed limits of this volume would allow; the continuity of the action is preserved by explanatory notes. Knowing, from long practical experience, that it is impossible to introduce Shakspeare as an educational work, in its original entirety, the same rigid expurgation and revision have been adopted, as were rendered imperative in my first series. This latter portion of my task has been executed, in a due reverential spirit for the purity and integrity of the text.