Written at the request of Queen Elizabeth, who wanted to see Falstaff again, this is the only Shakespeare comedy set wholly in his home country.
The Merry Wives of Windsor is traditionally supposed to have been written at the request of Queen Elizabeth, who wanted to see Falstaff again. Whatever the historical facts, she must have been pleased with this glorious romp when it was performed for her (as seems most likely) at Windsor Castle at the Feast of the Garter in 1597. The only comedy by Shakespeare set entirely in England, it is a joy for audiences but a trial for poor Falstaff, who is bundled into a laundry basket, forced to disguise himself as Mother Pratt, the fat woman of Brentford, and finally attacked by children dressed as fairies.
Published by Oxford University Press and bound in hardback buckram by The Folio Society, The Oxford Shakespeare series offers authoritative editions of Shakespeare’s plays. The early printings have been scrupulously re-examined and interpreted by eminent scholars, who also provide introductory essays covering all relevant background information, together with an appraisal of critical views and of the plays in performance. The exhaustive commentaries pay particular attention to language and staging. Reprints of sources, music for songs, genealogical tables and maps are included where necessary; many of the volumes are illustrated, and all contain an index.
Each book has an individual editor, with the whole series overseen by Stanley Wells.
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