All’s Well That Ends Well was not popular during Shakespeare’s time, and is still considered to be a play without renown even today. It’s also one of the three “problem plays,” in that it deals with controversial social issues. Although it remains unloved by the public, productions have featured star-studded casts, including actresses like Dame Judi Dench and Claudie Blakley.
Helena, daughter of a skilled doctor and adopted child of the Countess of Rousillon, is in love with Bertram, the Countess’s son. Helena cures the King of France and is rewarded with a husband of her choice, so she selects Bertram. He contests the legitimacy of their marriage, and insists on demanding that she complete two tasks before he can consider their marriage legitimate: She must wear his family ring, and provide him an heir.
This Standard Ebooks production is based on William George Clark and William Aldis Wright’s 1887 Victoria edition, which is taken from the Globe edition.