|"An engaging and valuable contribution to Robert Penn Warren
Scholarship. Significant research opportunities will be provided...in a volume that is
expertly, indeed authortatively, edited and complete, with an astute and illuminating
introductory essay, careful documentary notes, and a meticulous consideration of textual
|-Lewis Simpson, Boyd Professor of English, emeritus, Louisiana State
|Robert Penn Warren's 1946 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the King's
Men is one of the undisputed classics of American literature. Fifty years after the
novel's publication, Warren's characters still stand as powerful representations of the
moral dilemmas faced by individuals in positions of power. All the King's Men
had it genesis in Warren's stage play Proud Flesh. Warren also wrote a subsequent
play titled Willie Stark: His Rise and Fall and a later dramatic version of the
novel that shared the title All the King's Men.
This volume is the first to
collect all three dramatic texts and to publish Proud Flesh and Willie Stark.
Proud Flesh is particularly fascinating for what it reveals about the development
of All the King's Men and Warren's changing perceptions of its characters and
themes. The other plays, as post-novel writings, provided a forum for Warren to clarify
his intentions in the novel. The editor's introduction to this collection reviews the
composition history of the works and their relationship to the novel and to each other.
The new perspectives on Warren's writing presented in Robert Penn Warren's "All
the King's Men": Three Stage Versions provide a glimpse into a creative
mind struggling with a compelling story and offer readers another way of looking at an
American classic. This book is an essential reference in Warren studies that will give
students of All the King's Men another context from which to consider Warren's
James A. Grimshaw, Jr. is Regents
Professor of English at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
James A. Perkins is a professor of
English at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.