Originally published in Shakespeare's "First Folio" in 1623, "All's Well That Ends Well" is a fascinating play that defies classification, an unusual work that blends the comic with the tragic.
The play tells the story of Helena, a penniless worker at the Palace of Rousillion, and her cunning adventures to wed Bertram, the prosperous son of the count.
Bertram goes to Paris to attend the King of France and Helena follows and uses her cunning and charm to convince the King she is a healer.
When Helena risks her life to rid the King of France of a peculiar illness, she is rewarded with her choice of grooms from the King's court and she chooses the hand of Bertram.
Faced with rejection from Bertram due to her lowly social status, she devises a clever and devious plan to birth his son and keep his ring.
This is love as war, full of scheming, seduction, and manipulation.
Based on a tale from Boccaccio's, "The Decameron", the play energizes a classic Shakespearean theme of love complicated and conflicted by differences in class.
Full of the expected wit and ardor of Shakespeare, "All's Well That Ends Well" is an entertaining classic.
This edition is annotated by Henry N. Hudson, includes an introduction by Charles Harold Herford, and a biographical afterword.