King Edward III

Edward III is a major addition to the Shakespearean canon, and is published here for the first time in an authoritative edition of Shakespeare’s works. Presenting this fully-annotated, modern-spelling text of Edward III, Giorgio Melchiori does not claim that Shakespeare is the sole author, but author of a significant part of the play, the extent of which is discussed in detail. The introduction explores the historical background and the genesis of the play in the context of contemporary theatrical practice and of Shakespeare’s own early cycle of history plays. It stresses the original ideological stance and the theatrical qualities of the play as a whole. The commentary examines in depth the play’s linguistic and poetical features, while an extensive appendix on the use of sources explains the stages of its composition.

• The first time that this play has appeared in a scholarly Shakespeare edition. Neither Oxford nor Arden plan an edition as yet • Other ‘apocryphal’ plays in New Cambridge Shakespeare will include The Two Noble Kinsmen; some others are collaborative, eg Henry VIII • Very full appendix on the source material


Introduction; Note on the text; List of characters; The text of The Reign of King Edward III, with commentary; Textual analysis; Appendix: the use of sources.


‘Here in the elegant format emblematic of this collected edition … is a play entitled King Edward III … Giorgio Melchiori’s introduction to the New Cambridge Edward III, together with the actual editorial presentation and appendix on the play\'s sources are models of learned scruple. What this superb edition compels us to keep asking is simply this: ‘how did Shakespeare become Shakespeare?’ Neither the history of literature nor of language provides a richer ground for wonder.’ George Steiner, The Observer

‘Anyone who reads through Edward III with an open mind will, I believe, accept that the Shakespeare canon is permanently enlarged. It is an exhilarating experience.’ Contemporary Review