Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: A Mirror for Magistrates
  • Editors: Rosemary Gaby, Andrew Griffin

  • Copyright Queen's Men Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Authors: William Baldwin, John Higgins
    Editors: Rosemary Gaby, Andrew Griffin
    Not Peer Reviewed

    A Mirror for Magistrates

    [A Mirror for Magistrates (1559) is a collection of verse accounts of the lives of various key historical figures from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It was the work of several writers under the editorship of William Baldwin, and it pursues a clear aim to shape history into a series of moral and political lessons. Geoffrey Bullough suggests that Henry IV, Part One may owe something to A Mirror for Magistrates "if only by contraries" (165). Thomas Phaer's portrait of Owen Glendower is highly critical, but intersects with Shakespeare in interesting ways. This modern-spelling excerpt was prepared using a facsimile of the 1559 edition from Early English Books Online.]