All’s Well That Ends Well

William Shakespeare

All’s Well That Ends Well, by William Shakespeare - click to see full size image

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All’s Well That Ends Well is a comedy play by William Shakespeare, published in 1623. Set in France and Italy it is the story of a one-sided romance, based on the tale of Giletta di Narbona of Boccaccio's The Decameron. Helena, the orphaned daughter of a doctor, is under the protection of the widowed Countess of Rossillion. In love with Bertram, the countess' son, Helena follows him to court, where she cures the sick French king of an apparently fatal illness. The king rewards Helena by offering her the husband of her choice. She names Bertram; he resists. When forced by the king to marry her, he refuses to sleep with her and, accompanied by the braggart Parolles, leaves for the Italian wars. He says that he will only accept Helena if she obtains a ring from his finger and becomes pregnant with his child. She goes to Italy disguised as a pilgrim and suggests a 'bed trick' whereby she will take the place of Diana, a widow's daughter whom Bertram is trying to seduce. A 'kidnapping trick' humiliates the boastful Parolles, whilst the bed trick enables Helena to fulfil Bertram's conditions, leaving him no option but to marry her, to his mother's delight.

Part of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Great Books of the Western World set.

This book has 24,253 words, 68 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1623.

Production notes: This ebook of All’s Well That Ends Well was published by Global Grey on the 4th April 2018, and updated on the 11th December 2022. The artwork used for the cover is 'Helena and Count Bertram before the King of France' by Francis Wheatley.

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