Henry IV, Part One documents the early reign of Henry Bolingbroke, the Plantagenet king who took the crown from his cousin Richard (documented by Shakespeare in Richard II). Most likely written in 1597, the play’s earliest recorded performance is March 6, 1600, where it was performed at court for the visiting Flemish ambassador. Out of Shakespeare’s ten known history plays, Henry IV, Part One is one of the most popular--both in Shakespeare’s lifetime and even today. It was reprinted many times during Shakespeare’s life, both on its own and as a part of the Quartos and later the Folio.
Henry IV Part I guide sections