Shakespeare's histories-containing within their crowded tableaux all of the tragedies, confusions, and beauties of human life-are not only drama of the highest order. They also serve as windows through which generations have made themselves familiar with crucial episodes in English history. For an Elizabethan England that had already emerged onto the stage of world power and was hungry to understand the sources and nature of its identity, Shakespeare provided a grandeur born of the transforming power of his art. This volume contains Henry VI, Parts 1, 2, and 3; Richard III; and King John. The texts, authoritatively edited by Sylvan Barnet, are supplemented with textual notes, bibliographies, a detailed chronology of Shakespeare's life and times, and a substantial introduction in which Tony Tanner discusses each play individually and in the context of Shakespeare's work.