King Richard the Third
William Shakespeare, Robert Stephens, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, full cast, Caedmon Audio
(Caedmon Audio, Dec. 16, 1999)
Richard III is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1591. The play is an unflattering depiction of the short reign of Richard III of England. While generally classified as a history, as grouped in the First Folio, the play is sometimes called a tragedy (as in the first quarto). It picks up the story from Henry VI, Part 3 and concludes the historical series that stretches back to Richard II. William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564 – died 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592 he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of the playing company the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.