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Collins Complete Works of Shakespeare Hardcover – April 3, 2006

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Hardcover, April 3, 2006
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Product Details

  • Series: Collins
  • Hardcover: 1488 pages
  • Publisher: HARPER COLLINS 0 PUB (April 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007208308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007208302
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 2.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,364,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

What a beautiful collection edition book.
For all Shakespeare's plays, it's best to read them AFTER you've seen a good performance.
EA Solinas
I purchased this book as a gift for my daughter.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Tivor on June 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
I needed to get a book of complete works of Shakespeare, and portability was of key importance. So I went to a theater bookstore where I compared several different collections, including ones by Arden, Stratford, Pelican, and Gramercy. And this collection by Harper-Collins was hands-down the best in terms of readability and portability (and affordability).
The Arden and Pelican ones are the most comprehensive in terms of glossary, essays, and other scholarly stuff, but they also are the heaviest and the priciest. The Illustrated Stratford Shakespeare is surprisingly light (especially for a hard cover), but presumably to save page space, it abbreviates the characters' names before their lines (which I hate), and its font is pretty horrible in legibility. Gramercy's "William Shakespeare - The Complete Works" is the worst, being quite heavy while being extremely hard to read (abbreviated names and no indentation).
Harper-Collins' "Complete Works of William Shakespeare: The Alexander Text" is one of the best in terms of readability, with its good paper, font choice, fully spelled character names, and appropriate indentations to help legibility. It also has a decent glossary in the back for hard-to-understand words. I would have loved to have footnotes at the bottom of each pages instead, but hey, you can't have everything, I suppose. In terms of portability, this one is the second lightest of the five books (Stratford is the lightest). And the price is certainly right.
If you need complete Shakespeare on the go, this is the one to pick.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an edition of the complete works of Shakespeare that I keep next to my bed. No heavier than a large fashion magazine and absolutely readable, it is my favorite. The glossary is useful, the commentary is brief, and the cover folds back for comfortable beach reading. This edition brings Shakespeare into focus as an intimate whose work and life and suffering are not in any way distant from ours. Given the genius of the work, this particular edition encourages an easier relationship because the book itself is so easy to use.(When no one's around, pull it out and read a speech or two aloud) An excellent any-occasion gift that will be used and appreciated, especially by students, because it is so very convenient!
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Ian Chadwick on September 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
While the Harper-Collins edition is nicely laid out and a comfortable size, it is incorrectly called a "complete" collection. It is based on the 1951 Alexander text, which does not include either Edward III or The Two Noble Kinsmen. This edition contains the orthodox canon of yesteryear. With a limited selection of support material included, the reader will have to choose whether it's not worth spending the extra for a more comprehensive edition with expanded notes, glossary and supporting descriptions.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Mariba on June 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a very reputable one-volume Shakespeare book edited by the late professor Peter Alexander, chosen by the BBC as the basis for its major production of the complete Shakespearian plays. The book has an excellent introduction on William Shakespeare (who he was, his family, his writings & performance of his plays in his life time including the cast in some of his plays)! The book contains all his 36 Plays (catalogued) & 6 Poems (including all his Sonnets), appendix & glossary with 2 500 items (giving meaning to obsolete & difficult words and phrases). Footnote glossary would have been better than the glossary being at the back of the book! The book has been a "gold standard" since its first publication in 1951, a highly recommended reading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had read all of Shakespeare's works many years ago, but after reading and reviewing the book, How to Teach Shakespeare to your children, I decided to again visit all of material written by the great Bard. This giant 1433 page tomb begins with a biography of Shakespeare written by Germaine Greer, followed by the Shakespeare's theatre by Anthomy Burgess and two introductions; one of them written by Alec Yearling and one written in for the 1951 edition of this book by Peter Alexander.

This volume contains all the plays sonnets and poems written by William Shakespeare. Some of the more popular plays in this selection include the following: The Tempest, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer-Nights Dream, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, The Winter's Tale, King John, King Richard the second, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra. The Sonnets and Poems in this volume include: Venus and Adonis, the Rape of Lucrece, Sonnets, A Lover's Complaint, The Passionate Pilgrim and the Phoenx and Turtle. This text also has a special transcript by Sir Walter Greg of Shakespeare's contribution to Sir thomas More. There is also a helpful glossary and a bibliography section in this huge text.

In conclusion, the only reason I did not give this great book five stars is because my old eyes had some trouble reading the small print, even with my reading glasses on; however, those with the eyes of youth will find this an excellent volume of the complete works of William Shakespeare.

Rating: 4 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Haiku Moments: How to read, write and enjoy haiku)
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More About the Author

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564, and his birth is traditionally celebrated on April 23. The facts of his life, known from surviving documents, are sparse. He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare, a merchant of some standing in his community. William probably went to the King's New School in Stratford, but he had no university education. In November 1582, at the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior, who was pregnant with their first child, Susanna. She was born on May 26, 1583. Twins, a boy, Hamnet ( who would die at age eleven), and a girl, Judith, were born in 1585. By 1592 Shakespeare had gone to London working as an actor and already known as a playwright. A rival dramatist, Robert Greene, referred to him as "an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers." Shakespeare became a principal shareholder and playwright of the successful acting troupe, the Lord Chamberlain's Men (later under James I, called the King's Men). In 1599 the Lord Chamberlain's Men built and occupied the Globe Theater in Southwark near the Thames River. Here many of Shakespeare's plays were performed by the most famous actors of his time, including Richard Burbage, Will Kempe, and Robert Armin. In addition to his 37 plays, Shakespeare had a hand in others, including Sir Thomas More and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and he wrote poems, including Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. His 154 sonnets were published, probably without his authorization, in 1609. In 1611 or 1612 he gave up his lodgings in London and devoted more and more time to retirement in Stratford, though he continued writing such plays as The Tempest and Henry VII until about 1613. He died on April 23 1616, and was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. No collected edition of his plays was published during his life-time, but in 1623 two members of his acting company, John Heminges and Henry Condell, put together the great collection now called the First Folio.

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