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Manga Shakespeare: Henry VIII

Words by Richard Appignanesi

Art by Patrick Warren

Paperback, 208 pp, £9.99

"I have ventured in a sea of glory… but far beyond my depth!" The rise and fall of the scheming Cardinal Wolsey is just one of the stories of political intrigue and personal ambition played out in the shadows of Henry VIII's court – and that of his first two Queens – in Shakespeare's last play. First performed under the title All Is True in 1613, Henry VIII traces the ups and downs of fortune that rule over human affairs – in the corridors of power and behind closed doors. But who is pulling the strings in this epoch-making period of English history? And how do we know that any history is 'true'?

Published in association with Historic Royal Palaces to mark the 500th anniversary of the real King Henry's accession, Henry VIII is part of Manga Shakespeare, a series of graphic novel adaptations of William Shakespeare's plays. Drawing inspiration from Japan and using Shakespeare's original texts, this series – adapted by Richard Appignanesi and illustrated by leading manga artists – brings to life the great Bard's words for students, Shakespeare enthusiasts and manga fans.

Patrick Warren

Patrick Warren is a London-based comics artist and illustrator. After illustrating Richard III and Henry VIII for SelfMadeHero's Manga Shakespeare series, he moved into the video game industry, working as an animator, artist and designer. He has since returned to the world of comics and illustration.

Richard Appignanesi

Richard Appignanesi is a PhD graduate in classical art history. He was a founder and co-director of the Writers & Readers Publishing Cooperative, and later of Icon Books Ltd, where he served as originating editor of the internationally acclaimed illustrated Beginners and Introducing series, to which he contributed his own bestselling titles, Freud, Postmodernism, Existentialism and others. A former executive editor of the art journal Third Text, reviews editor of Futures and exhibition curator, Richard is the author of the fiction trilogy Italia Perversa, the novel Yukio Mishima’s Report to the Emperor and the Granta title What do Existentialists Believe? For SelfMadeHero, he adapted the texts for the Manga Shakespeare series, as well as The Wolf Man and Hysteria in the Graphic Freud series.


"This series does in book form what film director Baz Luhrmann did on screen – make Shakespeare cool and accessible to a younger generation… [the] artists use the dynamic flow of manga to give Shakespeare's plots an addictive page-turning energy."
— The Independent
"If I have my way, comics will play their part in the literacy debate. My son has no interest in English at school, but has devoured three Manga Shakespeare graphic novels, plus the graphic novel of Kafka's The Trial." 
— Ian Rankin