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The Globe Illustrated Shakespeare: The Complete Works Annotated Hardcover – August 3, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0517205969 ISBN-10: 0517205963 Edition: Annotated

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 2364 pages
  • Publisher: Gramercy Books; Annotated edition (August 3, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517205963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517205969
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 3.3 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,184,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 57 people found the following review helpful By richardpinneau.com on April 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I am loathe to waste *any* time reviewing this volume, except that I cannot bear that the names of "The Globe" and "Shakespeare" are suffering by being used here. Additionally, I would save unsuspecting buyers some money.
Note first that Howard Staunton, the editor of "The Globe Illustrated Shakespeare" died in 1874. That is how current this edition is. Unfortunately modern corporations continue to reprint this woefully out-dated version of Shakespeare (the long-deceased editor requiring no royalty payments) and assign a "publication date" that makes this reprint sound contemporary. [Publisher names associated with this uncritical approach to reproducing Shakespeare may vary. This "Globe Illustrated" printing has come out under publisher names "Gramercy", "Random House VALUE", and (in 1983) "Greenwich House".] Caveat, caveat, caveat emptor!
Do not assume that "Shakespeare is Shakespeare". This version may be great "for your collection" but you will not find yourself wanting to dip into the Bard's momental works here. It is NOT accurate. Scholarship has advanced so far in the past century that those in the know LAUGH at many of the editorial decisions that were passed along in Staunton's day.
Rather than repeat here my thoughts about better editions, please see the discussion in the review of one of the Gramercy printings ( ISBN 0517053616 ) for REWARDING editions of Shakespeare [ e.g., those published by Arden/Routledge, Oxford, Addison-Wesley (ed.: David Bevington), Penguin ].
Do your love of Shakespeare some justice and do not support this attractive *looking* offer.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By G. Brooks on December 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This volume will please real Shakespeare lovers and would make a valuable addition to a library. Let me explain.

About ten years ago, for a Christmas present, my girlfriend bought be a copy of the Complete Works that was published by the now defunct Crown Books. She paid about$30. Although I appreciated the thought, I did not think the book would be anything worth keeping. Furthermore, I was more disappointed when I did a quick check and confirmed that it appeared to be just a reprint of the First Folio, with all of its faults.

Yet, the more I examined its contents, the more valuable this collection appeared, at least, to me. Not only did the book include all of the plays and poems, it also included Will's will, a biography, and other little notes.

I checked the fly leaf for the editor, and discovered that it was by a very well known 19th century scholar, and in fact the book was a reprint of his edited complete works from 1863 in three volumes.

Moreover, each play is followed by fairly pertinent notes and comments by other Shakespearean scholars from the 19th century. For instance, there are several entries by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

After reading the various commentaries by those scholars of that century, you will readily understand that the opinions and understanding of the plays were different from those of today. Taking Coleridge again, he writes a very racist opinion about Othello, essentially saying that Shakespeare couldn't possibly have written a play where a white woman sleeps with a Black man; indeed, Coleridge denies that Othello was really dark skinned.

So, if you want read unique or ancient opinions about Shakespeare, this book will satisfy you.

By the way, the current "Globe" collection is identical to the Crown books edition that I have.
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31 of 41 people found the following review helpful By "shakesfan" on April 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Saw this book on in a friends library and picked it up because it was so attractive. I've always thought i should read shakespeare, so i tried browsing in it. Not much fun. So i came to amazon to look for reviews. Now i see what the problem was.
Sure it seems awesome to have such a polished looking volume on the coffee table, but i'm starting with the Oxford student edition of a couple plays and finally starting to GET shakespeare! This one is too expensive a centerpiece for my table if i'm never going to feel able to understand it!
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Yvonne Berthold on March 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is NOT where you want to spend your money. There are many good editions. Try Arden or Oxford. This one is NO help. Believe the negative reviews.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Muralidhara Subbaraya on November 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Globe illustrated Shakespeares are the best book to collect. I have various year and edition of the Globe books. I am very happy. This has gold finish on the binding. Extremely happy with this purchase.
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