This volume includes the text of the play as prepared by Craig Walker for The Broadview Anthology of British Literature—a text notable both for outstanding introductory material and annotations, and for the inclusion of parallel text versions of key scenes for which the texts in the Quarto and Folio versions are substantially different.
Appendices in this edition include excerpts from key Shakespearean source material such as the anonymous True Chronicle History of King Leir, Spenser's The Faerie Queene, and Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae; excerpts from Samuel Harsnett's A Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures; materials from the Annesley Case; and the happy ending from Nahum Tate's version of the play, which held the stage for 150 years after its first performance in 1681.
This is one of several Broadview Anthology of British Literature Editions being released this year; those wishing to teach the text will have the option of including the convenient stand-alone book as part of a specially-priced shrink-wrapped package together with a volume of the anthology.
Contributing Editor Craig Walker is Associate Professor of Drama at Queen's University and is the author of The Buried Astrolabe: Canadian Dramatic Imagination and Western Tradition (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2001).
"The Broadview chooses the Folio as the basic text, but, significantly, adds notes throughout that point out the differences appearing in the Quarto version. In addition, in the case of the three scenes in which differences are most pronounced, the anthology prints both Folio and Quarto versions side by side. This method opens up illuminating and exciting possibilities in the classroom.... I regard the unhesitating confrontation with the difficulties of King Lear that is shown by the Broadview editors as a microcosmic illustration of the toughness, determination, and conscientiousness of the editors throughout this entire British literature anthology."