All the King's Men: Three Stage Versions

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Robert Penn Warren's

"All the King's Men"

Three Stage Versions

The University of Georgia Press, Athens, Georgia 30602

Edited by James A. Grimshaw, Jr. and James A. Perkins
"An engaging and valuable contribution to Robert Penn Warren Scholarship. Significant research opportunities will be 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 emendations."
-Lewis Simpson, Boyd Professor of English, emeritus, Louisiana State University
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 novel.

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.