Henry IV, Part 1
Henry IV, Part 1 is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written no later than 1597. It is the second play in Shakespeare's tetralogy dealing with the successive reigns of Richard II, Henry IV (two plays, including Henry IV, Part 2), and Henry V. Henry IV, Part 1 depicts a span of history that begins with Hotspur's battle at Homildon in Northumberland against Douglas late in 1402 and ends with the defeat of the rebels at Shrewsbury in the middle of 1403. From the start, it has been an extremely popular play both with the public and critics.
Date and text
1 Henry IV was almost certainly in performance by 1597, given the wealth of allusions and references to the Falstaff character. The earliest recorded performance occurred on the afternoon of 6 March 1600, when the play was acted at court before the Flemish Ambassador. Other court performances followed in 1612 and 1625.
The play was entered into the Register of the Stationers Company on 25 Feb. 1598 and first printed in quarto later that year by stationer Andrew Wise. The play was Shakespeare's most popular printed text: new editions appeared in 1599, 1604, 1608, 1613, 1622, 1632, 1639, and 1692.