A Companion to Shakespeare / Edition 1

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A Companion to Shakespeare is an indispensable book for students and teachers of Shakespeare, indeed for anyone with an interest in his plays.

  • Contains 28 newly commissioned essays written by the most distinguished historians and literary scholars
  • Situates Shakespeare in the historical and cultural conditions in which he wrote
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This collection of 28 essays provides a historical overview of the conditions of Shakespeare's world." Library Journal

"No playgoer, reader, teacher or scholar should be without this elegant and indispensable guide to Shakespeare. It brings together the best in recent scholarship on the social history, contemporary reading, and institutions and material practices of writing, playing and printing in early modern England. Kastan has assembled a collection of essays with his peers and presented them with his characteristic intelligence and grace. The definitive Companion to Shakespeare." Karen Newman, Brown University

"A worthy companion indeed - every serious student of Shakespeare should carry this adroitly compiled collection of specialist essays on essential background constantly with them. Kastan has brought together a star cast of experts to help us to hear Shakespeare's distinctive voice, with all its historical and intellectual resonances, in a fresh and sharply clarified context." Lisa Jardine, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London

"Literally indispensable for anyone interested in Shakespeare." Patricia Parker, University of Stanford

"David Kastan has put together a dazzling collection of essays on Shakespeare. And one doesn't expect to be dazzled by that rather sedate animal, a Companion. This Companion represents the very best in recent scholarship and is at the same time lively, accessible, and often surprising. It is indeed indispensible." Peter Stallybrass, University of Pennsylvania

"Between them these specialist writers have assembled a series of essays which represent, for the time being at least, the last word in Shakespearean scholarship and research. It is difficult to think of any aspect of the dramatist's life, times and work which is not covered by this companion."

"This companion can be confidently recommended as a paragon of Shakespearean research." K.C.Harrison, Reference Reviews

"The publication [...] of the monumental Companion to Shakespeare, edited by David Scott Kastan, is a major event and one that should be celebrated for the breadth and depth of scholarship the book makes available to students." Year's Work In English Studies

Library Journal
This collection of 28 essays provides a historical overview of the conditions of Shakespeare's world. Little interpretation or criticism of Shakespeare's works is provided. Instead, each essay creates a portrait of one aspect of the theatrical, political, literary, intellectual, and social worlds that influenced the Bard and affected his writing. Topics include religion, political thought, reading practices, the craft of playwriting, the status of English, the economics and the repertory of the theater, licensing, censorship, and the business of printing. Extensive bibliographies follow each essay. Kastan English and comparative literature, Columbia is currently editing Henry IV, Part 1 for the Arden Shakespeare series. A solid addition to Shakespeare studies; recommended for academic collections and public libraries supporting strong high school literature programs.--Shana C. Fair, Ohio Univ., Zanesville
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Product Details

Meet the Author

David Scott Kastan is Professor of English at the Columbia University and a General Editor of the New Arden Shakespeare. His numerous publications include: Shakespeare and the Shapes of Time (1982), Staging the Renaissance: Reinterpretations of Elizabethan and Stuart Drama (1991), Critical Essays on Shakespeare's Hamlet (1995), and Shakespeare After Theory (1999).

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Table of Contents

Notes on contributors.

Part I: Introduction:.

1. Shakespeare and the 'Elements' he lived in: David Scott Kastan.

Part II: Shakespeare I:.

2. Shakespeare the Man: David Bevington.

Part III: Living:.

3. Shakespeare's England: Norman L. Jones.

4. Shakespeare's London: Ian Archer.

5. Religious Identities in Shakespeare's England: Peter Lake.

6. The Family and the Household: Susan Dwyer Amussen.

7. Shakespeare and Political Thought: Martin Dzelzainis.

8. Political Culture: David Harris Sacks.

Part IV: Reading: .

9.'The Great Variety of Readers' and Early Modern Reading Practices: Heidi Brayman Hackel.

10. Reading the Bible: David Daniell.

11. Reading the Classics: Robert L. Miola.

12. Reading History: D. R. Woolf.

13. Reading Vernacular literature: Diana E. Henderson and James Siemon.

Part V: Writing:.

14. Professional Playwrighting: Scott McMillin.

15. Shakespeare's 'Native English': Jonathan Hope.

16. Hearing Shakespeare's Dramatic Verse: George T. Wright.

17. Shakespeare and Rhetorical Culture: Peter G. Platt.

18. Shakespeare and Genre: Jean E. Howard.

Part VI: Playing:.

19. The Economics of Playing: William Ingram.

20. The Chamberlain's-King's Men: S.P. Cerasano.

21 Shakespeare's Repertory: Roslyn L. Knutson.

22. Shakespeare's Playhouses: Andrew Gurr.

23. Licensing and Censorship: Richard Dutton.

Part VII: Printing:.

24. Shakespeare in Print, 1593-1640: Thomas L. Berger and Jesse M. Lander.

25.'Precious Few': English Manuscript Playbooks: William B. Long.

26. The Craft of Printing (1600): Laurie E. Maguire.

27. The London Book-trade in 1600: Mark Bland.

28. Liberty, License and Authority: Press Censorship and Shakespeare: Cyndia Susan Clegg.

Part VIII: Shakespeare II:.

29. Shakespeare: the Myth: Michael D. Bristol.


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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2000

    terrific book

    this is the most useful companion to Shakespeare that exists; every library should have a copy.

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