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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Wordsworth Special Editions) [Paperback]

William Shakespeare
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (191 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 Aug 1996 Special Editions

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is acknowledged as the greatest dramatist of all time. He excels in plot, poetry and wit, and his talent encompasses the great tragedies of Hamlet, King Lear, Othello and Macbeth as well as the moving history plays and the comedies such as A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Taming of the Shrew and As You Like It with their magical combination of humour, ribaldry and tenderness.

This volume is a reprint of the Shakespeare Head Press edition, and it presents all the plays in chronological order in which they were written. It also includes Shakespeare's Sonnets, as well as his longer poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece.

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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Wordsworth Special Editions) + The Works of Oscar Wilde (Wordsworth Special Editions) + The Complete Novels of Jane Austen (Wordsworth Special Editions)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 1280 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd; New edition edition (15 Aug 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185326895X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853268953
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.4 x 5.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (191 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

About the Editors Stanley Wells is Professor of Shakespeare Studies and Director of the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham. Gary Taylor is Professor of English Literature at Brandeis University. John Jowett is Lecturer in English at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Bill Montgomery is a Shakespeare scholar. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Complete Works Of Shakespeare 3 Feb 2005
By MiniMog
I was looking for a book which contained the plays of Shakespeare as I needed to select which would be most appropriate to use as a drama workshop. I chose this book because it was very cheap.
The book is very chunky and it features ALL his plays and major poems/sonnets. Each page has two columns of text in very small print, so if you don't have good eye sight, I wouldn't recommend this book. It's also quite smudgy and the text is quite cramped. I don't feel this book is suitable to work from, to annotate etc.. However, it is as useful as a dictionary when it comes to looking up quotes and is brilliant to have around in order to recommend speeches to students. It also has a very useful Glossary at the back for those words which are uncommon/not used nowadays and includes information from the original folio.
To summarise... a book very worth the money, useful as a point of reference but not a book to be worked from.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wrong title 9 Mar 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This shouldn't be called the "complete" Shakespeare, but "complete plus". Typically for Delphi, they've added a wealth of extra material that adds richness to the text. I'm working through Macbeth, for example, and the Chronicles by Holinshead that Shakespeare uses as a source reveals just what a transformation he wrought. And how revealing is the political background to the play outlined by Samuel Johnson in his notes - James I's accession to the throne and the Gunpowder Plot. And then there's the additional Shakespeare, in the form of the apocryphal plays and poems. I didn't even know this stuff existed! This collection will help me explore the immortal Bard for decades to come.

I suppose that, if you dug hard enough, you'd be able to save yourself a couple of quid and get all of this stuff, including the extras and the apocryphal works, for free. I started down that road, but what you get is a lot of different formats of varying quality, many without active ToCs - which makes navigation a decided chore, if not practically impossible. And what about searching? If I wanted to find a particular word in one play, for example - no problemo. But what if I wanted to find if the Bard had ever used it? Only a complete collection will perform that trick in no time, and Delphi's ToC is as detailed and therefore as useful as I've come to expect from them.

I said that maybe you could find all of the material in this collection for free, but actually I seriously doubt it. For 1.87, quite frankly it's not worth looking, even without the objection in the previous paragraph. And what additional material! One literary genius - be it Johnson, Tolstoy, Coleridge or Victor Hugo - speaking about another is worth it on its own.
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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book, although expensive is just simply wonderful. The book contains all of shakespeares plays, poems and sonnets which puts a different meaning to the statement "complete works". Also, not only does the book give excellent essays on each play it also gives you exceptionally good footnotes on the modern meaning of difficult text within the play, with a usefull line index as to where these meanings come up. These notes are so helpfull I have not seen their equivalent or anything near it in any other edition of Shakespeares complete works. For those of you who have had problems in understanding Shakespeare, this book is your savior. Certainly a best buy in my opinion. Well done Bevington.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Option I Could Find 25 Nov 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is Shakespeare. What you don't need from me here is a review of the content, suffice it is to say his works are presented here complete and unabridged, and the added content is extensive and intriguing, especially to any scholars of The Bard out there.

Having sampled a number of 'Complete' editions for Kindle, it soon became apparent that there were a range of options, all with their own pros, cons and quirks, from poorly presented text (e.g. one had everything wedged together, no line breaks and only italics used to separate dialogue from everything else), lacking (or absent) contents pages and shoddy (or absent) browsing, to misplaced stage-directions and even missing lines (seriously!).

The stand-alone plays seem to fair much better in the formatting department than the complete works, but if it's a single collection you want, with all the trimmings, then this DELPHI CLASSICS edition is the edition I'd recommend (be sure to check the link at the top of this review, as reviews seem to be shared across a range of similar products). As I said at the beginning, this particular edition contains not only the complete plays and sonnets, but a vast array of additional works and extras to compliment and flesh-out everything (including biographies, illustrations, photographs, background information on each work, etc.). It features a full and fully-linked contents page, as well as linked contents to each individual work, and, although the text is a little cramped, it is clear enough to easily distinguish between character, dialogue and stage-direction.

As far as I can tell, no Complete Works collection on Kindle is perfect, but this Delphi Classics edition appears to be the best of the bunch.
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