Holinshed, Raphael hŏl´ĭnz-hĕd˝, hŏl´ĭn-shĕd˝ [key], d. c.1580, English chronicler. He was a translator who also assisted Reginald Wolfe in the preparation of a universal history, which was never finished. In 1577, four years after Wolfe's death, appeared Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, which he wrote with the assistance of William Harrison and Richard Stanihurst. Many Elizabethan dramatists drew plots for plays from the book in this and later editions. Shakespeare used it for several plays, especially Macbeth, King Lear, and Cymbeline.
See study by S. Booth (1968).
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