When did Shakespeare write The Henry VI Part I? And where did he get his inspiration?
Dating Henry VI, Part I
Henry VI Part I is generally thought to be a collaborative work between William Shakespeare and another writer (or even writers), assumed to be Thomas Nashe.
While today the three plays of Henry VI form a trilogy, Henry VI Part I was actually likely to have been a prequel, written later than the other two plays, following their success.
Phillip Henslowe's diary notes that a play called 'Harey Vi' was performed on 3 March 1592 at the Rose Theatre in Southwark, and Nashe's pamphlet Pierce Penniless (1592) mentions the Talbot scenes. The only text of the play is in the First Folio of 1623.
A few sources seem to have been used for Henry VI Part I. The main source about the York and Lancaster divide seems to be taken from Edward Hall's The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre and Yorke (1598) and the Joan of Arc storyline draws upon Holinshed's Chronicles (1587).