Most helpful positive review
The most complete edition of the Bard and a superb companion
on September 25, 2000
This one-volume edition of Shakespeare's works is the most complete I found on the market: it includes "The Two Noble Kinsmen", Shakespeare's addition to "Sir Thomas More" (with photographical reproduction of the pages believed to be in his handwrite), the currently hot debated poem "A Funeral Elegy by W. S." and, above all, "The Reign of King Edward III", a new play recently accepted in the canon by many authoritative editors (Arden, Cambridge, Oxford). The text of each work is carefully edited and accompanied by helpful glossarial notes, a textual discussion with short bibliography, and an impressive collation which allows the reader to find variant readings and emendations. An exhaustive critical introduction precedes each play and poem, dealing with authorship, date, sources, textual differences between quarto and folio texts, and of course the principal thematic issues. What makes this a superb edition - and indeed a real "companion" to Shakespeare studies! - is the great amount of subsidiary material, including a general introduction - focusing on Shakespeare's life, art, language, style, and on the Elizabethan historical and theatrical background - and a series of useful essays on various themes: critical approaches to the plays and poems, philological issues, history of the plays on the stage, television and cinema. There are also many interesting documents, synoptic tables, glossaries, indexes, illustrated tables (both coloured and b&w) , the reproduction of the introductory pages of the First Folio of 1623, and a rich bibliography. I personally consider this book a must have for every teacher, scholar, or simply amateur of the greatest of all poets. Buy it!