Shakespeare Biographies and Criticism
Featured Items
Shylock: A Legend and Its Legacy
Shylock
A Legend and Its Legacy
Hardcover      ISBN: 0671707078

Looks at the influence of Shakespeare's Shylock, describes the character's evolution on the stage, and presents writing about him by Proust, James, T.S. Eliot, and others

Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys Around Shakespeare's Globe
Worlds Elsewhere
Journeys Around Shakespeare's Globe
Hardcover      ISBN: 0805097341

A book about how Shakespeare became fascinated with the world, and how the world became fascinated with Shakespeare

Ranging ambitiously across four continents and four hundred years, Worlds Elsewhere is an eye-opening account of how Shakespeare went global. Seizing inspiration from the playwright's own fascination with travel, foreignness, and distant worlds--worlds Shakespeare never himself explored--Andrew Dickson takes us on an extraordinary journey: from Hamlet performed by English actors tramping through the Baltic states in the early sixteen hundreds to the skyscrapers of twenty-first-century Beijing and Shanghai, where "Shashibiya" survived Mao's Cultural Revolution to become a revered Chinese author.

En route, Dickson traces Nazi Germany's strange love affair with, and attempted nationalization of, the Bard, and delves deep into the history of Bollywood, where Shakespearean stories helped give birth to Indian cinema. In Johannesburg, we discover how Shakespeare was enlisted in the fight to end apartheid. In nineteenth-century California, we encounter shoestring performances of Richard III and Othello in the dusty mining camps and saloon bars of the Gold Rush.

No other writer's work has been performed, translated, adapted, and altered in such a remarkable variety of cultures and languages. Both a cultural history and a literary travelogue, Worlds Elsewhere is an attempt to understand how Shakespeare has become the international phenomenon he is--and why.

Shakespeare's Montaigne: The Florio Translation of the Essays
Shakespeare's Montaigne
The Florio Translation of the Essays
Paperback      ISBN: 1590177223

An NYRB Classics Original

Shakespeare, Nietzsche wrote, was Montaigne's best reader--a typically brilliant Nietzschean insight, capturing the intimate relationship between Montaigne's ever-changing record of the self and Shakespeare's kaleidoscopic register of human character. And there is no doubt that Shakespeare read Montaigne--though how extensively remains a matter of debate--and that the translation he read him in was that of John Florio, a fascinating polymath, man-about-town, and dazzlingly inventive writer himself.

Florio's Montaigne is in fact one of the masterpieces of English prose, with a stylistic range and felicity and passages of deep lingering music that make it comparable to Sir Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy and the works of Sir Thomas Browne. This new edition of this seminal work, edited by Stephen Greenblatt and Peter G. Platt, features an adroitly modernized text, an essay in which Greenblatt discusses both the resemblances and real tensions between Montaigne's and Shakespeare's visions of the world, and Platt's introduction to the life and times of the extraordinary Florio. Altogether, this book provides a remarkable new experience of not just two but three great writers who ushered in the modern world.
Shakespeare's Gardens
Shakespeare's Gardens
Hardcover      ISBN: 0711237263

Shakespeare's Gardens is a highly illustrated, informative book about the gardens that William Shakespeare knew as a boy and tended as a man, published to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in April 2016. This anniversary will be the focus of literary celebration of the man's life and work throughout the English speaking world and beyond. The book will focus on the gardens that Shakespeare knew, including the five gardens in Stratford upon Avon in which he gardened and explored. From his birthplace in Henley Street, to his childhood playground at Mary Arden's Farm, to his courting days at Anne Hathaway's Cottage and his final home at New Place - where he created a garden to reflect his fame and wealth. Cared for by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, these gardens are continually evolving to reflect our ongoing knowledge of his life. The book will also explore the plants that Shakespeare knew and wrote about in 17th century England: their use in his work and the meanings that his audiences would have picked up on - including mulberries, roses, daffodils, pansies, herbs and a host of other flowers. More than four centuries after the playwright lived, whenever we think of thyme, violets or roses, we more often than not still remember a quote from the 39 plays and 154 sonnets written by him.

Henry V
Henry V
Paperback      ISBN: 1840224215

Edited, introduced and annotated by Cedric Watts, M.A., Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of English, University of Sussex.

The Wordsworth Classics' Shakespeare Series, with Henry V as its inaugral volume, presents a newly-edited sequence of William Shakespeare's works. The textual editing endeavours to take account of recent scholarship while giving the material a careful reappraisal.

Henry V is the most famous and influential of Shakespeare's history plays. Its powerful patriotic rhetoric has resounded down the ages, gaining eloquent expression in Laurence Olivier's renowned film. Henry himself, astute and charismatic, who led his 'band of brothers' to victory in the Battle of Agincourt, could indeed seem to be 'this star of England'. In recent decades the play has attracted increasing critical attention and is now highly controversial. Kenneth Branagh's film-production reflected the changing valuation. Does this play have a sceptical sub-text which subverts its patriotism? Is Henry's achievement beset by irony? Has current scepticism distorted a predominantly and proudly nationalistic drama? Henry V demonstrates Shakespeare's acclaimed ability to bring new complexity to the material that he adapted, so that different eras may find within his work the familiar and the strange, the congenial and the harsh, the sustaining and the challenging.

Is Shakespeare Dead?
Is Shakespeare Dead?
Paperback      ISBN: 1847495990

An exponent of the theory that William Shakespeare, the modestly educated provincial man from Stratford-upon-Avon, could not have written the works - full of erudition and accurate professional jargon - which are attributed to him, Mark Twain offers an eloquent and entertaining analysis of this issue of authorship, peppered with personal recollections of his own first encounters with the Bard's plays on a boat on the Mississippi.

Balancing humour, insight and vitriol, Is Shakespeare Dead? is a provocative contribution to the tradition of Shakespeare-doubting, as well as a fine example of the great American novelist's critical writing.
Hamlet: A User's Guide
Hamlet
A User's Guide
Paperback      ISBN: 0879100834

(Limelight). "Pennington's great experience of the play...love for it...depth of knowledge...of many productions and interpretations culminate in a book of infinite value to any actor, director and above all to any passionate playgoer...written with passion, humor and rigor...an excellent read." Ralph Fiennes

Shakespeare's Flowers
Shakespeare's Flowers
Hardcover      ISBN: 081180836x
Who's Who in Shakespeare: A Dictionary of Characters and Proper Names
Who's Who in Shakespeare
A Dictionary of Characters and Proper Names
Paperback      ISBN: 0486454584

Although many of Shakespeare's allusions would have been familiar to the theater-goers of his day, we've come a long way from the language of the Globe Theater. This indispensable dictionary helps modern readers and audiences find their way back to the Elizabethan stage. With more than 3,000 entries, it encompasses all of the plays as well as the poems and sonnets. In addition to the historical, mythical, and fictitious characters themselves, the coverage extends to their references to other people, places, literature, and legends.
Who's Who in Shakespeare offers an alphabetical guide to these names. It provides a specific identity and context for each, with quotations from the works in which they appear, from the sources which Shakespeare may himself have used, and from the writings of his contemporaries. The author has also contributed his own comments on the accuracy of some of the historical and geographical references, and on the links between the playwright's life and his choices of names.
Entries for major characters feature brief analyses of their roles, arranged scene by scene. The plays appear under their individual titles, with details of their original publication and probable date of composition. A useful appendix contains family trees of the important ruling and noble houses at the time of the Wars of the Roses, plus a catalog of works included in the First Folio.

Shakespeare And the Ideal of Love
Shakespeare And the Ideal of Love
Paperback      ISBN: 1594771456

Reveals the influence of the Renaissance scholar-priest Marsilio Ficino on Shakespeare and how the Neoplatonic philosophy of love shaped the inner meaning of his work

- Shows how Shakespeare's works offer a path back to the divine unity of all things

- Explains the role of love in the Christian-Platonic concept of the three worlds

In Love's Labours Lost, Shakespeare talks of the true Promethean fire that is lit by the doctrine he reads in women's eyes. What is this doctrine and what is this true Promethean fire to which it gives birth? In Shakespeare and the Ideal of Love, Jill Line shows that Shakespeare shared the perennial philosophy of a long line of teachers, including Hermes Tristmegistus, Pythagoras, Plato, Plotinus, and especially the Florentine scholar and mystic Marsilio Ficino. The answer to these questions, Line claims, lies in Ficino's Christian-Platonic philosophy of love, from which all Shakespeare's plays have their genesis.

Love, according to Ficino, is the force that inspired the creation of the worlds of the angelic mind, the soul, and the material, and it is through love that each of these worlds expands into the next. Love is also the vehicle that allows human beings to make the return journey to the source of their being, where they find unity in God. This is the path on which all of Shakespeare's lovers embark. Jill Line explains how Shakespeare's plays represent more than poetic literary constructs: They are mirrors of the progress of the soul, in many conditions and situations, as it returns to the divine unity of all things.