King John (Paperback)
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One of Shakespeare's lesser-known plays, King John reaches far back in English history to the struggle for the throne that ensued after the death of Richard Coeur de Lion. Supported by their conniving mother Queen Eleanor, his younger brother John assumes the crown, but immediately there is a rival claim from his nephew Arthur. When John hears that the King of France supports Arthur's claim, John declares war. His plans are thrown off course by the arrival of the pope's ambassador come to excommunicate him. Lacking the heroism of his deceased brother, and possessed of a shifty temperament, John doesn't shy away from cold-blooded savagery. Filled with political intrigue, backroom deals and shifting alliances, King John is a rarely performed and often under- rated masterpiece.