Henry VI, Part 2

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.4 stars; 22 reviews)

Henry VI, Part 2 or The Second Part of Henry the Sixth (often written as 2 Henry VI) is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1591, and set during the lifetime of King Henry VI of England. Whereas 1 Henry VI deals primarily with the loss of England's French territories and the political machinations leading up to the Wars of the Roses, and 3 Henry VI deals with the horrors of that conflict, 2 Henry VI focuses on the King's inability to quell the bickering of his nobles, the death of his trusted adviser Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, the rise of the Duke of York and the inevitability of armed conflict. As such, the play culminates with the opening battle of the War, the First Battle of St Albans. Henry VI may be viewed as a study in insurrection, which moves from the private and personal jostlings in the court in Part 1 to outright civil war in Part 3. In Part 2 the discord between prominent state officials, notably Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, spreads to the common people, fomenting an abortive rebellion, lead by the rascally Kentishman, Jack Cade. With the death of Humphrey, the period of regency for the naive Henry effectively comes to an end, and the unworldly monarch is helplessly exposed to the interminable strife between the factions of the houses of York and of Lancaster. The structure of the play differs from the other two parts in that there is a central rustic idyll (Act 4), populated by clownish characters, which recalls the idyllic centrepieces of comedies like A Midsummer Night's Dream and As You Like It. The plays with the effective deposition of Henry, who is later re-installed as king in Part 3 by the influential Earl of Warwick. Henry VI, Part 2 has the largest cast of all Shakespeare's plays, and is seen by many critics as the best of the Henry VI trilogy. (Summary by Wikipedia and Algy Pug)

Alexander Iden/Lord Say: amicrazy2u
Beadle/Earl of Warwick/First Neighbor/George Bevis/Lord Scales/Post/Second Gentleman/Soldier/Spirit: Algy Pug
Bolingbroke/Jack Cade: Martin Geeson
Captain/Herald/Simpcox: Sandra G
Clerk of Chatham/First Citizen/Messenger/Queen Margaret: Elizabeth Klett
Dick the Butcher/Mayor of St. Albans: JimOCR
Duke of Buckingham/Richard Plantagenet the Younger: Lars Rolander
Duke of Gloucester: Sean Randall
Duke of Somerset: Readalot
Earl of Salisbury: Michael Irskens
Earl of Suffolk: Frank Booker
Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester: Musicalheart1
Father John Hume: Christine Blachford
First Gentleman/Second Murderer/Second Petitioner/Townsman: David Lawrence
First Murderer: rigbyjm
First Petitioner/Third Neighbor/William Stafford: John Fricker
Henry VI: Arielle Lipshaw
John Holland/Peter: Denny Sayers
King Edward IV/Thomas Horner/Walter Whitmore: Dale Burgess
Lord Clifford/Second Neighbor: Aidan Brack
Margaret Jourdain: Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Master/Sheriff: kenrg
Michael: Bruce Pirie
Richard Plantagenet/Smith the Weaver: David Goldfarb
Servant/Vaux: Eden
Simpcox's Wife: Lucy Perry
Sir Humphrey Stafford: Ric F
Sir John Stanley: Veggrower
Winchester: Jason Mills
Young Clifford: Amy Gramour
Narrator: Roseanne Schmidt

Audio edited by: Elizabeth Klett (3 hr 10 min)


Dramatis Personae 3:58 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 1 40:31 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 2 29:21 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 3 47:34 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 4 48:58 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 5 20:25 Read by LibriVox Volunteers



(2.5 stars)

I'm generally thankful for the volunteers who read for librivox but this play has too many people who don't know how to pronounce the words and names and who think reading Shakespeare means you have to do strange accents

(4 stars)

fair quality. some accents were labored and distracting