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The Shakespeare Encyclopedia: The Complete Guide to the Man and His Works Hardcover – September 17, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Books (September 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554074797
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554074792
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 9.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,434,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Single-volume guides to Shakespeare will never go out of style...but they are not all created equal... The large-format The Shakespeare Encyclopedia is the most visually impressive, with full-color photographs from a variety of productions and sections devoted to Shakespeare himself, the plays, the poems, and reference tools... Entries on each play are not padded with extensive plot summaries, instead offering a condensed description with a longer interpretive essay by a Shakespearean scholar. The clearly written essays are designed for nonspecialists but touch on topics of current critical interest and are often supplemented with charts of character relationships and the length of speaking roles. This book should prove helpful for those coming to Shakespeare for the first time or for those who know him already and seek an attractive summary of contemporary ideas about the plays. (Christopher Baker American Reference Books Annual 2009-01-00)

Thoughtfully conceived and attractively produced to appeal to a broad general audience, this abundantly illustrated book results from a collaborative effort of Shakespeare scholars under the leadership of A.D. Cousins.... The first 40 pages or so are devoted to Shakespeare's context and legacy, and the final section contains reference material--a timeline, further reading, glossary, and index. Within this structure the material is organized according to type of work: the plays (comedies, tragedies, romances), and the poetry (poems and sonnets). Individual works are treated in two to ten pages, with photos and other graphics, a plot summary, a listing of "dramatis personae," discussion of themes and context, a few quotes, and discussion of performance and adaptation. The sonnets are treated in a generalized discussion. (Book News 2010-02-00)

This large book is loaded with pictures, tables, and all sorts of good extras. It begins with a brief history of Shakespeare's time and a brief biography. The rest of the book is devoted to his works, the plays, and the poetry. It belongs in the library collection because high school students need a book that relates the politics of the time to the literature they are studying. This book gives enough history to relate to the plays, but not so much as to overwhelm students. Each summary gives information so students can see the relationship between two plays. There are also references to modern variations of several plays. Overall, this will be a helpful book in the high school library. Teachers will love it because it presents information from several fields in one concise reference and students will love it because it has the information they need with lavish illustrations. Recommended. (David Lininger Library Media Connection 2010-05-01)

Shakespeare's themes transcend time and place; though they do not dwell in our age...these characters and their plights continue to speak to our own hopes, desires, and experiences... This text is rich with historical context, as well as analyses of the English language and the social and literary worlds in which Shakespeare dwelled. This text is a must-have for any school library; accessible for students, librarians, and teachers alike, it provides far more than a simple overview of the writer and his work. In fact, it provides detailed histories and summaries of his major works and poems, including lists of characters, depictions of family trees, and analyses of dominant imagery, motifs, themes, and related quotes... Further, the entire text is beautifully constructed with thick, glossy pages and numerous illustrations, classical artwork, photographs, and stills from film adaptations and plays. The encyclopedia is both intellectually and aesthetically pleasing. (Courtney Huse Wika VOYA 2010-12-00)

About the Author

A.D. Cousins, a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and a member of the Order of Australia, has been a visiting adjunct professor at the Renaissance Studies Center at the University of Massachussetts, a visiting scholar at Princeton and at Penn State, and a library fellow at the library of the University of Wisconsin- Madison, where he was also an honorary fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities. He has published eight books, including monographs on Shakespeare's non-dramatic verse.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert D. Chagnon on November 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a nice book, very glossy and well-illustrated, but it's not what I expected. It's more like a coffee-table book than a reference work. Each play gets an article one-to-six pages long, with pictures, many from films. The contributors are drawn from Australia, Canada, The USA, France, and even a few from Great Britain. A few are doctoral students. The opening section, before the articles on the plays, has seven articles under the heading "Shakespeare for All Time," about his era, his language, and his "enduring appeal." It's a book more for browsing than specific reference.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Coles on September 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book and I am enjoying poring through it. It has encouraged me to reread plays that I have not touched for years. i also bought a copy for my sister and she also loves it. It is beautifully illustrated and terrific for the non-scholar who loves Shakespeare and would like to learn more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carol F. Peck on December 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book as a Christmas gift for my granddaughter, a theater major in college. She plans to concentrate on performing Shakespeare, so this was perfect for her. She was totally thrilled by the scope of the contents, especially the pictures, and said that it will help her immeasurably as she continues her theater studies. I am grateful to amazon for making it so easy for me to order it, shipping free.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tigger on May 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very nice book, full of great pictures but also very meaningful text. I was very impressed by the content, not at all shallow but very profound and useful to understand subtle aspects of Shakespeare's writing.
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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marykay Perez on January 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this book and I received it in two business days. It was a replacement for a wrong book that they sent. I am impressed with service.
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