Edward II (play)

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Edward II is a Renaissance or Early Modern period play written by Christopher Marlowe. It is one of the earliest English history plays. The full title of the first publication is The Troublesome Reign and Lamentable Death of Edward the Second, King of England, with the Tragical Fall of Proud Mortimer.

Marlowe found most of his material for this play in the third volume of Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles (1587). He stayed close to the account but embellished it with the character of Lightborn (or Lucifer) as Edward's assassin. The play was first acted in 1592 or 1593 by Pembroke's Men.


The play was entered into the Stationers' Register on July 6, 1593, five weeks after Marlowe's death. The earliest extant edition was published in octavo in 1594, printed by Robert Robinson for the bookseller William Jones; a second edition, issued in 1598, was printed by Richard Braddock for Jones, and provided a scene not included in the 1594 text. Subsequent editions were published in 1612, by Richard Barnes, and in 1622, by Henry Bell.


The play telescopes most of Edward II's reign into a single narrative, beginning with the recall of his favourite, Piers Gaveston, from exile, and ending with his son Edward III's execution of Mortimer Junior for the king's murder.

Marlowe's play opens at the outset of the reign, with Edward's exiled favourite, Piers Gaveston, rejoicing at the recent death of Edward I and his own resulting...
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