HOLINSHED, Raphael

(d. 1580)
An English chronicler and historian, Raphael Holinshed was the principal editor of Elizabethan England s most important domestic history. Holinshed s early years cannot be reconstructed with any certainty, but he probably was educated at Cambridge in the mid-1540s. By the early Elizabethan period he was associated with Reginald Wolfe, a printer who was compiling a universal history and cosmography—an unrealistically ambitious project later abandoned in favor of a more restricted enterprise, a descriptive history of England, Scot­land, and Ireland from the earliest times to the present day.
The result of this venture was published in 1577 as The Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande (the full title is considerably longer, and scholars often call it simply "Holinshed's Chronicles"). Though not the first attempt to chronicle the history of the British Isles, Holinshed s project was the most ex­tensive, detailed, and systematic of its genre. Holinshed s Chronicles certainly falls short of modern historical standards, but it was in many respects a re­markably documented and often self-critical enterprise for its age. A massive two-volume folio containing over three million words, copiously illustrated and indexed, the Chronicles became the principal source of English, Scottish, and Irish history and legend to generations of readers, including William Shake­speare* and other early modern dramatists.
Though the Chronicles has come to be associated with Holinshed as if he "wrote" it, it was in fact the work of many contributors and editors working over a period of about two decades. An expanded and updated three-volume edition appeared in 1587-88, almost a decade after Holinshed s death. It is this edition that Shakespeare used as a source for his plays. Like the first edition, this one provoked considerable controversy and was several times found objec­tionable by the Privy Council or powerful aristocrats and clergymen disturbed by the Chronicles reporting of politically and culturally sensitive topics. It is some measure of the Chronicles' importance as a de facto "official history" of the British Isles that most of these conflicts concerned nearly contemporary events or matters of English policy in Ireland and Scotland.
Holinshed s Chronicles has long attracted scholarly attention because Shake­speare used it as a source, albeit with many modifications, for no fewer than thirteen of his plays, most notably his English histories. In recent years, however, scholars have begun to look at the Chronicles on its own terms, finding in it a complex, significant, and influential Elizabethan document that can be analyzed independently of its value as a source for other creative artists.
Bibliography
W. G. Boswell-Stone, Shakespeare's Holinshed, 1896.
A. Patterson, Reading Holinshed's "Chronicles," 1994.
Thomas G. Olsen

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Holinshed, Raphael — died с 1580 English chronicler. From с 1560 Holinshed lived in London, where he was employed as a translator by Reginald Wolfe, who was preparing a universal history. Holinshed is remembered for his Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande… …   Universalium

  • Holinshed, Raphael —  (d. c. 1580) English historian, known for The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (1577), which was popularly known as Holinshed’s Chronicles …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Holinshed,Raphael — Hol·in·shed (hŏlʹən shĕd , ĭnz hĕd ) Hol·lings·head ( ĭngz hĕd ), Raphael. Died c. 1580. English historian. His volume Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1577) was used extensively by Shakespeare as well as other Elizabethan dramatists …   Universalium

  • Holinshed, Raphael — (m. 1580). Cronista inglés. Desde 1560 vivió en Londres, donde Reginald Wolfe, que preparaba una historia universal, lo contrató como traductor. Se lo recuerda como autor de las Crónicas de Inglaterra, Escocia e Irlanda (1577), una historia… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • HOLINSHED, RAPHAEL —    English chronicler of the Elizabethan age; his Chronicle, published in two vols. in 1577, supplied Shakespeare with materials for some of his historical plays; d. 1580 …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Raphael Holinshed — (died c. 1580) was an English chronicler, whose work, commonly known as Holinshed s Chronicles , was one of the major sources used by William Shakespeare for a number of his plays. He is thought to have come from Cheshire, but lived in London,… …   Wikipedia

  • Raphael Holinshed — (Hollingshead) (vers 1525 – vers 1580), fut un historien anglais, dont le travail, connu sous le nom de Chroniques Holinshed, fut l une des sources majeures utilisées par William Shakespeare pour nombre de ses pièces. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Voir …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Holinshed — Raphael Holinshed (* um 1520 ; † um 1580 in Bramcote) war ein englischer Schriftsteller, dessen Werk bekannt unter dem Titel Holinshed s Chronicle William Shakespeare als Quelle vieler seiner Dramen diente. Leben Über sein Leben weiß man sehr… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Raphael — /raf ee euhl, ray fee , rah fuy el /, n. 1. (Raffaello Santi or Sanzio) 1483 1520, Italian painter. 2. one of the archangels. 3. a male given name: from a Hebrew word meaning healing of the Lord. * * * I In the Bible and the Qurān, one of the… …   Universalium

  • Raphael — Se conoce como Raphael a: ● Raphael Santi, pintor italiano. ● Raphael, cantante jiennense (España). * * * (as used in expressions) Hirsch, Samson Raphael Holinshed, Raphael Mengs, Anton Raphael Semmes, Raphael …   Enciclopedia Universal


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