Literary sources for this history play include Raphael Holinshed (c. 1528-c. 1580) who wrote “The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland” (2nd ed., 1587) and an Anonymous play entitled “The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth” (c. 1586) as well as Edward Hall’s, (1498-1547) who wrote “The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York” (3rd. ed., 1550). As in part one another inspiration was Samuel Daniel, (c.1562-1619) from his “The Civil Wars between the Two Houses of Lancaster and York” (1595-1609) and William Baldwin edition entitled: “The Mirror for Magistrates” (1559 ed.). It was first printed in a corrupt quarto text entered into the Stationer’s office on 23rd August 1600 as the “The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, Continuing to his Death, and Coronation of Henry the Fifth. With the Humours of Sir John Falstaff, and Swaggering Pistol” as a sequel although there is no evidence that this was Shakespeare’s original intention. It may be that while writing the play Shakespeare was obliged to lay it aside in order to compose another play “The Merry Wives of Windsor”, first performed in 1597. Queen Elizabeth enjoyed the character of Falstaff that so much that she urged Shakespeare to “write more of Sir John” but this section of the sequel appears to have less scenes of them together and more of Sir John with Mistress Quickly and Dolly Tearsheet at the Boar’s Head tavern and the future King Hal dealing with matters at court. Most likely it was written around 1596-97 soon after the First Part of Henry IVth.
|The links to my publications “Shakespeare’s Qaballah”, a Companion to Shakespeare Studies and my anthology of poetry, “Parthenogenesis” are as follows:|