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The Norton Shakespeare Hardcover – Mar 1 2008
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From Library Journal
In the crowded world of collected Shakespeares, there have been two notable works, The Oxford Shakespeare (Oxford Univ., 1986) and The Riverside Shakespeare (Houghton Mifflin, 1997). The most recent edition of the Riverside explores developments in Shakespearean criticism, while the Oxford presents an innovation in the Shakespearean canon. It is the Oxford edition that forms the core of The Norton Shakespeare, destined to change the count of notables to three. General editor Greenbelt (Berkeley and Harvard) and editors Walter Cohen, Jean E. Howard, and Katharine Eisaman Maus, all noted scholars of the period, acknowledge their debt to the work of the Oxford editors. However, they use the strong foundation of the Oxford to create a new and wonderful text of great richness and depth. Their mission is to make Shakespeare accessible to modern readers. With lengthy introductions providing insight into Shakespeare's life and times as well as textual notes, marginal glosses, footnotes, and bibliographies, they more than achieve their aim. In addition, the work is designed for use in classrooms (the student version includes a CD-ROM) and to that end offers some fascinating textual editing to help both students and lovers of Shakespeare understand the complexity of his writing. With King Lear, for example, the editors offer three versions: the 1608 quarto text, the 1623 Folio text (on facing pages), and then a conflated version of the two so that readers can take their own measure of the merits of conflation. For Hamlet, the editors interpolated into the folio passages of the second quarto with different typeface and spacing so that readers can view the work as an organic text. The editors also seek to widen the reader's view of Shakespeare with additional essays by Andrew Gurr (Univ. of Reading) on Elizabethan and Jacobean expectations of theater as well as genealogies, an illustrated chronology of Shakespeare's life, and over 150 illustrations. The result is a work of immense scope, scholarship, and richness. Not only will it be a vital collection for years, it will become the standard to emulate. An essential purchase for all libraries.?Neal Wyatt, Chesterfield Cty. P.L., Va.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Stephen Greenblatt (Ph.D. Yale) is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. Also General Editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, he is the author of eleven books, including The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (winner of the 2011 National Book Award and the 2012 Pulitzer Prize); Shakespeare's Freedom; Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare; Hamlet in Purgatory; Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World; Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture; and Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare. He has edited seven collections of criticism, including Cultural Mobility: A Manifesto, and is a founding coeditor of the journal Representations. His honors include the MLA's James Russell Lowell Prize, for both Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England and The Swerve, the Sapegno Prize, the Distinguished Humanist Award from the Mellon Foundation, the Wilbur Cross Medal from the Yale University Graduate School, the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, the Erasmus Institute Prize, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California, Berkeley. He was president of the Modern Language Association of America and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Walter Cohen (Ph.D. Berkeley) is Professor of English at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Professor of Comparative Literature Emeritus at Cornell University, where he received the Clark Distinguished Teaching Award. He is the author of Drama of a Nation: Public Theater in Renaissance England and Spain, as well as numerous journal articles on Renaissance literature, literary criticism, the history of the novel, and world literature. He has recently completed a critical study entitled A History of European Literature: The West and the World from Antiquity to the Present. Jean E. Howard (Ph.D., Yale) is the George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. A past president of the Shakespeare Association of America, she is the author of numerous books on Renaissance drama, including Shakespeare's Art of Orchestration: Stage Technique and Audience Response (1984), The Stage and Social Struggle (1994), Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare's English Histories, with Phyllis Rackin (1997), Theater of a City: The Places of London Comedy 1598-1642 (2007), and Marx and Shakespeare with Crystal Bartolovich (2012). She is at work on a book about the English history play from Shakespeare to Caryl Churchill and another on the invention of Renaissance tragedy. Katharine Eisaman Maus (Ph.D. Johns Hopkins) is James Branch Cabell Professor of English at the University of Virginia. She is the author of Being and Having in Shakespeare; Inwardness and Theater in the English Renaissance; and Ben Jonson and the Roman Frame of Mind; editor of a volume of Renaissance tragedies; and coeditor of English Renaissance Drama: A Norton Anthology, The Norton Anthology of English Literature, and a collection of criticism on seventeenth-century English poetry. She has been awarded Guggenheim, Leverhulme, NEH, and ACLS fellowships, and the Roland Bainton Prize for Inwardness and Theater.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is one textbook I won't be re-selling!
With over 3,400 pages and all Shakespeare's known plays and poems, the high price of this book is well worth it. You'll probably never need another book of his works. The only downside is that it is very heavy (about the thickness of two hardcover novels) and the pages are extremely thin (and wrinkle easily).
Intended as a textbook, the editors of this edition add biographical information, glossaries, period illustrations and footnotes. If you're reading Shakespeare for pleasure, I would recommend reading the intro to each play after you have read it through once. The intros tend to give away a bit much of the story (this can be a plus if you're reading this for a class). I'm not suggesting that you skip them altogether, as they do add helpful insight and perspective to each play.
I haven't read all the plays yet, but my favorite so far is The Taming of the Shrew. This is the best play I've read in a long time. I laughed out loud in several places. I told the story to my 7 year old son and he even laughed! I also discovered that there is another play called The Taming of a Shrew that is similar to The Taming of the Shrew but with additional passages. These extra passages are also included in this edition.
The editors always let you know when more than one version of a play has been found. They include three known versions of King Lear. Two are presented on facing pages so that you can easily see the differences. They also include a conflated version, often used in actual productions.
I recommend this book to anyone wanting to read a little or a lot of Shakespeare.
Most recent customer reviews
product was awesome and came really fast. exceeded expectations for sure. great product highly recommended. thank you for the awesome productPublished 23 months ago by Nick
I bought this for my boyfriend, who is a Shakespeare fan, as a part of his Christmas gift. It includes all of Shakespeare's plays and also gives you other interesting information. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2011 by Ying Liu
I would in fact prefer to award this 3.5 stars, but the Amazon system seems to compel one to choose between 3 and 4, and I think 4 is too generous. Read morePublished on Sept. 10 2001 by Joost Daalder
I've read the Bard's plays in various editions (Arden's, Signet, Folger's, Riverside, etc.) and the Norton is BY FAR the most superior. Read morePublished on March 13 1999
This complete Shakespeare takes the important Oxford edition of the late 1980s and adds annotations and notes by American academics. Read morePublished on Nov. 23 1998
This is indeed a wonderful edition of Shakespeare. It is very accesible to the modern reader, even those who find his language daunting. Read morePublished on Aug. 31 1998