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The Riverside Shakespeare, 2nd Edition Hardcover – December 31, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0395754900 ISBN-10: 0395754909 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 2057 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company; 2nd edition (December 31, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395754909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395754900
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.2 x 2.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

List of Illustrations Abbreviations General Introduction Shakespeare's Text Chronology and Sources Opening Pages of the First Folio Comedies The Comedy of Errors The Taming of the Shrew The Two Gentlemen of Verona Love's Labors Lost A Midsummer Night's Dream The Merchant of Venice The Merry Wives of Windsor Much Ado about Nothing As You Like It Twelfth Night, or What You Will The History of Troilus and Cressida All's Well That Ends Well Measure for Measure Histories The First Part of Henry the Sixth The Second Part of Henry the Sixth The Third Part of Henry the Sixth The Tragedy of Richard the Third The Life and Death of King John The Tragedy of King Richard the Second The First Part of Henry the Fourth The Second Part of Henry the Fourth The Life of Henry the Fifth The Famous History of the Life of Henry the Eighth Tragedies The Tragedy of Titus Andronicus The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet The Tragedy of Julius Caesar The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice The Tragedy of King Lear The Tragedy of Macbeth The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra The Tragedy of Coriolanus The Life of Timon and Athens Romances Pericles, Prince of Tyre Cymbeline The Winter's Tale The Tempest The Two Noble Kinsmen Edward III Sir Thomas More: The Additions Ascribed to Shakespeare Poems Venus and Adonis The Rape of Lucrece Sonnets A Lover's Complaint The Passionate Pilgrim The Phoenix and Turtle A Funeral Elegy for Master William Peter Appendix A. Shakespeare's Plays in Performance, from 1660 to the Present (updated) Appendix B. Records, Documents, and Allusions Appendix C. Annals, 1552-1616 Appendix D. Recent Criticism Selected Bibliography Index to the Characters in the Plays Index to First Lines of the Sonnets Index to First Lines of The Passionate Pilgrim Index to First Lines of Songs and Song Snatches Selected Glossary Genealogical Tables

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this to anyone serious about Shakespeare.
M. Tidman
The reference notes are very useful and it is a perfect course presentation edition that translates well to reading Shakespeare for the general reader.
Justin Playfair
The book, as the title claims, includes all of Shakespeare's plays, Sonnets, and poems.
Kerry Reilly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

126 of 130 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Reilly on June 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
While I sympathize somewhat with the review below -- the introductions do quibble a bit over the differences between Folio and Quarto versions, the exact source material etc. -- I found this to be an excellent version of the complete works. The essay before each play is very helpful toward understanding the literary context of the play--they _do_ talk about the characters and the action of the play, in a way that nicely complements the text. The illustrations (some black and white, some color) are also interesting and helpful. The book contains both a general introduction, which is accessible, if slightly daunting, to a reader who might not be intimately familiar with all of the plays, serving to excite interest at least. It also contains an essay on 20th century Shakespeare criticism, which introduces many of the newer movements in Shakespeare criticism that are not included in the general introduction (which focuses more on the Elizabethan historical period, and more immediate reactions to the plays). The footnotes, while they are not indicated on the line itself, are located on the same page. In looking at several other editions, I found that footnotes were sometimes actually endnotes--i.e. located in one section at the end of the play, which would be very disruptive to reading. Happily, this is not the case in this edition.
The book, as the title claims, includes all of Shakespeare's plays, Sonnets, and poems. The appendices include many other interesting tidbits that help shine some light on old Billy's life, including his will, in which he enigmatically bequeathed a "second-best bed" to his wife. Other documents are included, often with explanations to help the reader to understand (as the documents are printed verbatim, the Elizabethan spelling and punctuation is a slight impediment).
Overall, I found this to be the best of the paperback and hardcover editions I examined.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By an Italian customer on September 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
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!
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this edition after using the Norton in my last semester Shakespeare class, and have found my reading of the plays for this semester's class much more enjoyable. The format is beautiful: the pages are thicker, lie flatter, and hold more content. Unlike the Norton, whose footnote numbers interrupt the reading of the text, forcing you to lose momemtum, the Riverside's are unobtrusive, available if you need them and when you want them. The introductions are prescient, interesting, and well-written. The text itself is more accurate, also. Harold Bloom, for example, in his introduction to The Invention of The Human, says he uses the Riverside and Arden, and that the Oxford (upon which the Norton is based) tries to publish the worst possible poetry. This I found amusing, if not also accurate.
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40 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book has useful (though not terribly complete) introductions to each of the plays, focusing mainly on comparing various Folio and Quarto editions of the plays. It also contains some nice pictures, though I wish the Latin in them were translated or shown at a legible size. It has very nice appendicies nothing the first appearances of all the characters in the plays, and a timeline showing what historical events were occuring in relation to works written by Shakespeare and events in his life, as well as to plays by other playwrights and other literature produced at that time. The pages are relatively thin and the print small. However (this referes to the '74 edition, maybe they have changed it since then) the plays are a royal pain to read. The pages are about a foot high and the notes are at the bottom. There is no marking to indicate whether a line has a note, so the reader must read a line or two, glance down at the notes, read another few lines, look at the notes again, and so on. Were it not for this major annoyance, this would be a very good (and very complete) edition of Shakespeare's works.
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