INTRODUCTION—Parts II. III.
The connection between the Second and Third Parts of Henry VI. is so close that we have thought it best, as far as the Introduction is concerned, not to treat them separately. With regard to the sources whence they are derived, the literary history of these plays is very clear. We have more than one edition of the two old plays from which the Second and Third Parts of Henry VI., as they were first published in the Folio of 1623, were adapted by Shakespeare. As to the authorship of these two plays, whether they were the work of one, or more than one author, a controversy has been going on ever since the days of Malone; and will go on most probably till the end of time. The theory that they are merely imperfect copies of the two latter Parts of Henry VI., as we have them in the Folio 1623, is quite untenable. It seems beyond dispute that the Second Part of Henry VI. is an adaptation of a play first printed in quarto (Q. I) in 1594, and called “The| First part of the Con- | tention betwixt the two famous houses of Yorke | and Lancaster, with the death of the good | Duke Humphrey: | And the banishment and death of the Duke of | Suffolke, and the Tragicall end of the proud Cardinall | of winchester, with the notable Rebellion | of Iacke Cade:|