The Globe Illustrated Shakespeare: The Complete Works Annotated Hardcover – 1 Sep 2001
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This book was initially published in three separate volumes in "The Plays of Shakespeare." This huge book is organized to include those three volumes. Volume one covers The two gentlemen of Verona, Love's labour's lost, The comedy of errors, Romeo and Juliet, The taming of the shrew, King John, A midsummer's night's dream. The merchant of Venice, King Richard the second, The first part of King Henry the fourth, The merry wives of Windsor, and Much ado about nothing.
The second volume covers All's well that ends well, King Henry the fifth, As you like it, Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Twelfth night or, What you will, The first part of Henry the sixth, The second part of Henry the sixth, The third part of Henry the sixth, Timon of Athens, King Richard the third, Measure for measure, King Henry the eighth, and Cymbeline.
The third volume includes: The Tempest, King Lear, Coriolanus, Winter's tale, Troilus and Cressida, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, Titus Andronicus, Othello and Poems. In the appendixes they include some account of the life of Shakespeare, Shakespeare's will, Preliminary matter in the folio of 1623 and Commendatory verses.
In conclusion, this is not a book you would carry around to read, unless you intend to use it as an exercise tool. It is, however, a beautiful hardcover volume you should keep on a coffee table for any lover of Shakespeare to appreciate.
If you have a real passion for Shakespeare, this volume should be on your "must have list." I am glad I have my copy of this fantastic book.
Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Haiku Moments: How to read, write and enjoy haiku)
About ten years ago, for a Christmas present, my girlfriend bought be a copy of the Complete Works that was published by the now defunct Crown Books. She paid about$30. Although I appreciated the thought, I did not think the book would be anything worth keeping. Furthermore, I was more disappointed when I did a quick check and confirmed that it appeared to be just a reprint of the First Folio, with all of its faults.
Yet, the more I examined its contents, the more valuable this collection appeared, at least, to me. Not only did the book include all of the plays and poems, it also included Will's will, a biography, and other little notes.
I checked the fly leaf for the editor, and discovered that it was by a very well known 19th century scholar, and in fact the book was a reprint of his edited complete works from 1863 in three volumes.
Moreover, each play is followed by fairly pertinent notes and comments by other Shakespearean scholars from the 19th century. For instance, there are several entries by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
After reading the various commentaries by those scholars of that century, you will readily understand that the opinions and understanding of the plays were different from those of today. Taking Coleridge again, he writes a very racist opinion about Othello, essentially saying that Shakespeare couldn't possibly have written a play where a white woman sleeps with a Black man; indeed, Coleridge denies that Othello was really dark skinned.
So, if you want read unique or ancient opinions about Shakespeare, this book will satisfy you.
By the way, the current "Globe" collection is identical to the Crown books edition that I have.
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