Many readers today associate the early modern history play with Shakespeare. While not wishing to ignore the influence of Shakespeare, this collection of essays explores other historical drama between 1500 and 1660, covering a wide range of different formats. An introduction provides a survey of current criticism, exploring both early modern and contemporary definitions of the 'history play'. Individual essays in chronological order discuss a wide variety of possible sources for historical drama, ranging from oral traditions to chronicles. They also explore genres outside the canon which think of 'history' in different ways, such as shows, moralities and closet drama.