Internet Shakespeare Editions

Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

Hardyng's Chronicle (Selection)

0.1There is no evidence that Shakespeare would have seen Hardynge's account of Leyre's reign, but his is an account of some interest, partly because it illustrates the variability of the many chronicles. The editors of the old-spelling edition from which this modernized version has been derived comment:
Hardyng's account of King Leyre omits a number of details found in most other chronicles . . . It does not remark on Leyre's partiality for Cordele; Leyre's retinue is only downsized once before Ragawe asks him to disband it completely; Leyre does not return to Goneril after Ragawe upsets him; and the king's lengthy lament on Fortune is excluded. There are nevertheless some interesting additions: Hardyng describes the way in which the "r" in the pronunciation of "Leyrecestre" was set aside "to make the language swettre" (2.1203–05); Leyre is advised to seek Cordele's help by his friends; Cordele is touchingly buried next to her father as her soul ascends to Janus and Minerva.
University of Rochester, Robbins Library Digital Projects, TEAMS Middle English Texts. Hardyng's Chronicle, edited from British Library MS Lansdowne 204 by James Simpson and Sarah Peverley. Online at This excerpt includes lines 1999-1303.