Raphael Holinshed, The... Chronicles, 1577, 'History of Scotland', - a siege, woodcut, p. 231, detail.

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Date:1577

Description:War in Europe in Shakespeare’s time.

War between the states of Europe was common in the sixteenth century and Queen Elizabeth's armies, and navy fought against the Spanish, and in the Low Countries (Holland/Belgium) and in Ireland. Shakespeare includes armies on the move in Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing, while battles are frequent in the English history plays. The siege of Harfleur in Henry V, or in Coriolanus Martius's conquest of Corioli may well have been inspired by woodcuts such as this one in Raphael Holinshed's first volume of British history.

See:Hamlet, 4,4, lines 1-9.
Much Ado About Nothing, 1,1, lines 1-32.
Henry V, 3,1, lines 1-34, and 3,3, lines 84-142.
Coriolanus, 1,4 to 1,5


Full title: Raphael Holinshed, The firste [laste] volume of chronicles of England, Scotlande and Irelande. Conteyning the description and chronicles of England from the first inhabiting unto the conquest; the description and chronicles of Scotland from the first originall of the Scotts nation, till the yeare of our Lorde 1571; The description and chronicles of Yrelande likewise from the firste originall of that nation untill the yeare 1547. Faithfully gathered and set forth by Raphaell Holinshed. London, imprinted for George Bishop, 1577. Which contains: The Historie of Scotland... unto the yeare 1571, London, imprinted for George Bishop London, for George Bishop, 1577, where this woodcut may be found.


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1570s
Henri Estienne, A mervaylous discourse upon... Katherine de Medici…, 1575 - title page
Henri Estienne, A mervaylous discourse upon... Katherine de Medici…, 1575 - title page

Shakespeare may have owned this book. Shakespeare purchased New Place, the largest ...

1590s
William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis, 1594, leaf F4v.
William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis, 1594, leaf F4v.

Shakespeare’s first published works. The long poem, Venus and Adonis, was ...

1610s
Michael Drayton, Polyolbion, 1613 - 13th Song, p. 213
Michael Drayton, Polyolbion, 1613 - 13th Song, p. 213

Warwickshire, and Shakespeare's ‘merrie meeting’. According to John ...

1630s
John Fletcher and William Shakespeare, The Two Noble Kinsmen, [London], 1634  - p. 18, D1v
John Fletcher and William Shakespeare, The Two Noble Kinsmen, [London], 1634 - p. 18, D1v

A Shakespeare collaboration. The Two Noble Kinsmen includes pageantry in the ...

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Donor ref:SR/OS 93 [2620-1-ii] (32/10470)

Source: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust - Library

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