Trade in your item
Get a $2.00
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

World of Shakespeare: The Complete Plays and Sonnets of William Shakespeare (38 Volume Library) Hardcover – May 1, 2006


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$1,165.84 $549.97

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Penguin (May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143104802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143104803
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 13.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 26.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,228,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

(What's this?)

Customer Reviews

I was very pleased with this 38-volume set.
lwhite
If, like me, you simply want a set of Shakespeare's works that is easy and fun to read (and looks sweet on the bookshelf!), then you have to get this.
J. Rodgers
This is the best available edition of Shakespeare's work.
Vincent Poirier

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By James Loney on August 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As someone who reads Shakespeare compulsively (2-3 plays per month on a rotating basis clear through the 37 extant works), I have been in the market for some time for an easily-manipulated and easy-to-read edition of Complete Works that can be taken in a backpack to work or to the beach. In this 38-Volume work I have found it!

Previously I was forced to lug around one of the complete editions (my favorite being the well-anotated one-volume Pelican), which meant carrying a bulky, expensive, and weighty 7 pound book with me. With this very handy, beautiful, and well-constructed Pelican edition I am able to carry one or two plays along with me on vacation and still have plenty of room to pack other books or items.

The Pelican apparatus is great (introductions and footnotes)--editors Orgel and Braunmuller have a fine eye for problems modern readers may encounter with 400 year old texts. However, the exclusion of "Venus and Adonis" and "Rape of the Lucrece" in a separate (39th) tome is odd and inexplicable. These poems, after all, are the only works that Shakespeare himself seems to have expressly authorized for publication.

This caveat aside: rush don't walk to get these books into your library. Then, like me, you'll be ready to settle down some lazy summer afternoon (or rainy October evening) to many "sweet sessions of silent thought" while reading through the greatest canon of dramatic and poetic writing in all of human history!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Tony Jaeger on December 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading previous reviews of this magnificent set here at Amazon, I was in one sense `sold' but with some remaining concerns. Now that I have received the set I see that it is all that others have said and more, and so I will address my previous worries here in the event that there may be some with similar questions. In short, let not your heart be troubled.

Although the astonishingly low price of $94.99 made the set a deal that I simply couldn't refuse, I have always been one to believe that you generally get what you pay for, and so this low price also caused me some concern. Having seen the publishing world being inundated with cheap Chinese printings of Western canon classics over the past few years, often stacked high at the `big box' stores and varying wildly in physical quality, I was of course worried that this would be of a similar caliber. I was delighted to find that the set is printed in the United States and the quality of the books is beyond reproach. The paper is bright and the text is crisp and clear, set in an easily legible and pleasing Garamond font at what appears to be approximately 12 point. Each volume has a bookmark ribbon bound into the spine and extending approximately three inches below the bottom of the book.

Each volume measures 8 ½ inches high and 5 5/8 inches deep. You will need a minimum of 26 ½ inches of linear shelf space for them all and UPS states the shipping weight as being 29 pounds.

Even at what must be an overwhelming time for Amazon's shipping and packing departments, the set arrived in three days despite my opting for the free `super saver' shipping (Ordered late December 26, arrived December 29).
Read more ›
9 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Terry A. Gray on December 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This has got to be the bargain of the decade. Individually hard bound volumes in a 38-volume set of the Pelican Shakespeare for only $89.70, with free shipping to boot from Amazon. The set normally retails for $299, and having purchased the set myself, I can truly say I would not have felt cheated had I paid full price. The set is called World of Shakespeare: The Complete Plays and Sonnets of William Shakespeare (38 Volume Library) (Hardcover).
World of Shakespeare: The Complete Plays and Sonnets of William Shakespeare (38 Volume Library)
The set contains all the plays, excluding Two Noble Kinsmen--wherein they agree with the single-volume Pelican Shakespeare second edition--and the Sonnets, but not the other non-dramatic poetry, which the single volume does contain. Why the editors chose to exclude the other non-dramatic poetry is not clear, unless it was simply volume-size considerations. Venus and Adonis, Lucrece, The Phoenix and the Turtle, The Passionate Pilgrim and A Lover's Complaint would perhaps have been too thin to place in their own volume, and added to the Sonnets would have made that volume too thick. Surely they could have been accommodated somewhere, however. This is the only complaint I have about this outstanding edition.

Each of the volumes are individually bound in navy cloth covers with silver stamped titles on front covers and spines. From the outside they are not things of great beauty, but serviceable and pleasant. They feel good in the hand, their covers giving them the substantiality the Pelican (and most other paperbacks) lack.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
59 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Dennis E. Henley on July 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The individual paperbacks are priced at $5.00 and $6.00 each. The full set (in hardbound) averages $3.94 a book. The text appears to be identical to the revised paperback edition. Having the plays in single volumes makes it easier to read them (see Al Pacino discussing this issue in Looking for Richard). This is a great deal for a great set.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?