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Date and text
Richard III is believed to be one of Shakespeare's earlier plays, preceded only by the three parts of Henry VI and perhaps a handful of comedies. It is believed to have been written c. 1591. Although Richard III was entered into the Register of the Stationers Company on 20 October 1597, by the bookseller Andrew Wise, who published the first quarto (Q1) later that year (with printing done by Valentine Simmes), Christopher Marlowe's Edward II, which cannot have been written much later than 1592 (Marlowe died in 1593) is thought to have been influenced by it. A second quarto (Q2) followed in 1598, printed by Thomas Creede for Andrew Wise, containing an attribution to Shakespeare on its title page and may have been a memorial reconstruction. Q3 appeared in 1602, Q4 in 1605, Q5 in 1612, and Q6 in 1622; the frequency attesting to its popularity. The First Folio version followed in 1623.
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