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Henry VI, History and Dramatization (ENG 114)

Page history last edited by halld@... 8 years, 4 months ago
This guide offers a step-by-step process for locating biographical information on the real persons behind the characters in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Parts 1-3.
Henry VI by Arnulf Rainer.  Photographed by Larry Qualls. From ArtStor database
Step 1. Get the Facts
Find the basic facts about the person, including the date of birth, date of death, full name, alternate names (such as titles or names after marriage), and the names of parents, spouse(s) and/or children. As your research progresses, this information is often helpful when searching sources and in distinguishing between similarly named people.
For researching a person in British history, this is the single best source in the Library is:
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography                  
Contains detailed entries with source notes, which can be used for further research. In the print version, entries are arranged alphabetically by name, then by year of birth (royalty will be listed by first name, so Elizabeth Woodville is listed as “Elizabeth”).  Please note that only two people may access the online version at a time, so if you are unable to get in be sure to try again a little later or consult the print version at REF CT 783 .D53.
Another very useful resource for getting background information is: 
Credo Reference                               
Search hundreds of authoritative reference works with one resource.  Includes the Dictionary of Shakespeare and The Companion to British History.
Step 2. Books in the Marymount College Library
Books will be your next best source of information. Full length treatments of your character may not be available, so search as well for titles that address the history of the time period and then search within the book for references to your character by looking at the table of contents and the index.
Example of an index entry that leads to historical information about Jack Cade.
Online Catalog                                                    
Use the online catalog to search for additional books (be sure to look under all the variations of the name you identified in Step 1).  Consider photocopying the pages you need instead of checking out the book(s) so that your classmates can also easily access the same books.
Ebrary Catalog
Search ebrary for electronic books.  Ebrary books enable you to search within the books, making it easier to locate specific references to your character.
WorldCat books available at libraries worldwide; we can borrow books from other libraries if we don't own them.
Step 3. Articles
The following specialty search engines (also called databases) may help you find articles on your person. If the Library does not own a copy of the journal where the article was published, see a librarian and we will get it for you from another library (it is free, but takes about one week). 
Literature Resource Center
LRC is an excellent source for literary criticism, biographies, and topical and work overviews.
Proquest Research Library
Proquest provides articles from over 5,000 journals and magazines, including history journals and literary criticism journals.
Academic Search Premier                              
Academic Search Premier provides articles from nearly 5,000 journals and magazines, including history journals and literary criticism journals.
Step 4. Free Web Sites
Shakespeare Searched
A search engine devoted to the full-text of Shakespeare's works. Searches can be limited to particular plays or characters.
Step 5. Don't Forget: Cite Your Sources


As you're doing your research, be sure to note all the sources you are using. You will need this information to created a Works Cited Page.


Learn more about why and how to cite.  Marymount Library publishes APA and MLA citation guides online.  We also have a subscription to EasyBib, an online service that helps you to format your citations correctly.


For help citing sources, contact the library or visit a librarian in-person.


To access this guide online go to the Marymount College Library Research Guide page at http://mcpvlibraryguides.pbworks.com and look under English.  Or scan the QR code below with a smartphone or tablet.



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