The Norton Shakespeare: Based on the Oxford Edition Hardcover – 25 Apr 2008
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About the Author
Stephen Greenblatt (Ph.D. Yale) is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. Also General Editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, he is the author of eleven books, including The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (winner of the 2011 National Book Award and the 2012 Pulitzer Prize); Shakespeare's Freedom; Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare; Hamlet in Purgatory; Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World; Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture; and Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare. He has edited seven collections of criticism, including Cultural Mobility: A Manifesto, and is a founding coeditor of the journal Representations. His honors include the MLA's James Russell Lowell Prize, for both Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England and The Swerve, the Sapegno Prize, the Distinguished Humanist Award from the Mellon Foundation, the Wilbur Cross Medal from the Yale University Graduate School, the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, the Erasmus Institute Prize, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California, Berkeley. He was president of the Modern Language Association of America and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Walter Cohen (Ph.D. Berkeley) is Professor of English at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Professor of Comparative Literature Emeritus at Cornell University, where he received the Clark Distinguished Teaching Award. He is the author of Drama of a Nation: Public Theater in Renaissance England and Spain, as well as numerous journal articles on Renaissance literature, literary criticism, the history of the novel, and world literature. He has recently completed a critical study entitled A History of European Literature: The West and the World from Antiquity to the Present. Jean E. Howard (Ph.D., Yale) is the George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. A past president of the Shakespeare Association of America, she is the author of numerous books on Renaissance drama, including Shakespeare's Art of Orchestration: Stage Technique and Audience Response (1984), The Stage and Social Struggle (1994), Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare's English Histories, with Phyllis Rackin (1997), Theater of a City: The Places of London Comedy 1598-1642 (2007), and Marx and Shakespeare with Crystal Bartolovich (2012). She is at work on a book about the English history play from Shakespeare to Caryl Churchill and another on the invention of Renaissance tragedy. Katharine Eisaman Maus (Ph.D. Johns Hopkins) is James Branch Cabell Professor of English at the University of Virginia. She is the author of Being and Having in Shakespeare; Inwardness and Theater in the English Renaissance; and Ben Jonson and the Roman Frame of Mind; editor of a volume of Renaissance tragedies; and coeditor of English Renaissance Drama: A Norton Anthology, The Norton Anthology of English Literature, and a collection of criticism on seventeenth-century English poetry. She has been awarded Guggenheim, Leverhulme, NEH, and ACLS fellowships, and the Roland Bainton Prize for Inwardness and Theater.
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Top Customer Reviews
* it is based on the reputable, and widely referenced Oxford Shakespeare, and although an 'American edition', follows the English spelling in all but the notes and introductions;
* the plays are in (conjectured) choronological order;
* most importantly, all glosses, explications and historical notes are on the text page itself (either as foot-, or marginal-notes) - no endless back-turning;
* furthermore, the quality of the notes is almost equal to that of the major multi-volume editions, although less verbose, and more relevant. Indeed it makes you appreciate that you are paying for a lot of scholarly fluff when you pay for an Arden or a single-play Oxford, with their endless quibbles on Latinisms and rewordings. Indeed, often the Norton has more direct glosses, and is more semantically illuminating and clarifying than those other editions, which assume too much in the reader. But the Norton also gives you scholarly references as well. You only lack the obscurest of literary references , which only the most scrutinizing of academics would ever need, and for that you would be working from a single-play text;
* textual variants are listed at the end of each play, showing editorial decisions clearly;
* spelling and names are modernised, and conventional/archaic spellings are rejected (e.g. banquet, for banket - which some Arden editors retain for not even academic reasons);
* consistently more stage directions, with assistance on who is addressing whom, who is front-stage, upper-stage, kneeling, armed, motioning etc.Read more ›
Having said that, to get your feet wet there are a few good biographies and I like the Anthony Burgess book "Shakespeare" that is an easy read and just over 200 pages long. Also there are a few other books and tour guides such as the new DK guide with lots of maps and photos. Then there are books such as Boyce's book "Shakespeare A to Z".
But I think the crown jewel of the books available is the present book almost 3500 pages long with CD which rises head and shoulders above anything else on the market. It is simply an excellent book by a group of highly qualified editors using the resources of Oxford. Obviously it can be improved but as of now it is the leader
However, this book is very poorly and cheaply bound. Mine is brand new, and the hardcover is very loose and floppy, and the binding was coming unglued before I even took it out of the box. This is such a large book that I'm sure this is not going to end well if I actually attempt to use it (which I would like to do). Unfortunately, it arrived wrapped in plastic, and now that I've opened it I cannot return it. I am displeased. For the amount of money that this book costs, it should be at least semi-quality.
My only criticism is the thin pages in such a thick book. It really needs to be in several volumes and with comb bound or wire bound edition to allow it to lie flat on the desk or table whilst you are studying. Humping the all-in-one bound version is great for weight training but you need great resolve to attempt to take it on holiday! Good luck.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Thanks so much, the book was in lovely condition and exactly what I needed in order to start university in September! Thanks again!Published 13 months ago by Ella
Well worth investing in one of these. It will last you a life time and you can keep referring back to it.Published 17 months ago by Gabriella tavini
Bought for OU work therefore what I expected. Prompt delivery; glad I didn't have to pay p & p as very heavy!Published 21 months ago by essieb
Excellent - well worth the money. A must for any Shakespearean scholar or fan - informative, yet readable intro and a real quality feel to the whole bookPublished 22 months ago by Nicola Macaulay-smith
A must have for any literature student or any fan of Shakespeare. It has all of his works, with wonderful notes that will help you understand the context of a sonnet, or a play in... Read morePublished on 16 Feb. 2014 by C. Z. Menino
Great momento after my Open Uni Shakespeare: Text & Performance course is over, but very unwieldy to cart around/study from. Read morePublished on 18 Sept. 2013 by Rebecca Heal
The Norton Shakespeare: Based on the Oxford Shakespeare
If you are buying this for Open University module AA306, beware of this first edition. Read more
I bought this because its a set book on an Open University course I'm taking next year. I'm glad I bought it.Published on 23 Nov. 2012 by Aseret