The RSC Shakespeare: The Complete Works
David Wilkins, Eric Rasmussen, Jonathan Bate, William Shakespeare
Developed in partnership with The Royal Shakespeare Company, this edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare combines exemplary textual scholarship with elegant writing and design. Sir Jonathan Bate and Professor Eric Rasmussen, two of today’s most accomplished Shakespearean scholars, lead the expert editorial team. Bate’s excellent general introduction and essays on each play draw on a unique wealth of experience and resources and will help the reader to understand Shakespeare’s plays as they were originally intended – as living theatre to be enjoyed and performed.
The text is based on the iconic 1623 First Folio: the first and original Complete Works lovingly assembled by Shakespeare’s fellow actors and the version of Shakespeare’s text preferred by many actors and directors today. The result is a fresh and definitive Complete Works for the twenty-first century that will inspire students, teachers and lovers of Shakespeare everywhere.
'This new Complete Works from the RSC is a glorious edition of one of the world's most important books. It's the essential reference book for anyone who's ever been in love, felt jealousy, fear, hatred, or desire. All human life is here - and every home should have one.' - Dame Judi Dench 'Timely, original, and beautifully conceived, the RSC edition makes Shakespeare's extraordinary accomplishment more vivid than ever.' - James Shapiro, Professor, Columbia University and prize-winning author of 1599: A Year in the Life of Shakespeare 'Excellent, succinct notes and introductions to each play.'- John Carey, The Sunday Times 'The paper quality and page design are excellent, and the illustrations in the introductory materials are lavish and well reproduced ...a virtual comet-tail of supplementary materials are to be found at www.rscshakespeare.co.uk - the RSC is certainly the first edition of Shakespeare to provide a link to it's editor's blog... Bate's general introduction to Shakespeare's life, stage and reputation is superb, and the short introductions to individual works, in particular, are among the best of their kind available...they manage to speak about what really matters about the plays to readers who wish, whether they are already familiar with them or not, to come to them freshly. ' - Professor Michael Dobson, writing in The London Review of Books 'This outstanding new edition of Shakespeare's plays is the closest yet to the originals ... a new and thoroughly radical edition ... supervised by Jonathan Bate, an outstanding scholar (and author of the best existing biography of Shakespeare) who writes with as much elegance as insight about the making of theatre and the creation of the plays... an impeccably informative introduction gives a comprehensive theatrical, social, political and biographical context to the plays. There are pithy essays, also by Bate, to introduce each play as well as exemplary notes at the foot of each page which translate verbal and topical obscurities ... for actors and directors it will be incomparably useful, but for any curious reader of Shakespeare's plays it provides an invaluable guide to reading them not as novels or dramatic poems, but as they were intended to be read: blueprints for live performance.' - Richard Eyre, The Sunday Telegraph 'Jonathan Bate is a passionate advocate of Shakespeare and his introductions to individual plays are full of striking and convincing observations...The scholarly apparatus is discreet, elegant and pertinent. For each play, we getbrief accounts of plots, dates and sources, and useful statistics about the proportions of verse to prose and the length of the major parts. Footnotes are found snugly and legibly at the bottom of each page. The 41 lines in the opening soliloquy of Richard III, for example, generates three dozen clarifications, elucidating dynastic facts, glossing unfamiliar items of vocabulary, paraphrasing tricky meanings and uncovering bawdy puns. There is a universe to be found in these annotations: the Renaissance world of power and fate, sex and death, language and philosophy. Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen have given us an edition full of endless fascination.' - Tom Deveson,Times Educational Supplement 'A splendid edition. The general introduction is among the best 50-page guides to Shakespeare you could hope to find, while the short essays prefixed to each play are like the best kind of programme notes - informative, thought-provoking and humane. Marginal notes help readers imagine what's happening onstage ... The RSC's edition tells you all you need to know about the life, but also, vitally, allows you to lose yourself in the wonder of the works.' - Dr Colin Burrow, All Souls College, Oxford University, writing in The Evening Standard 'Thanks to Bate and Rasmussen, we now have a rendering of the Complete Works that, in a rare publishing achievement, would also give complete satisfaction to the author himself.' - Robert McCrum, The Observer 'A magnificent new volume.' - A. N. Wilson, Daily Telegraph 'A triumphant addition to our times.' - Fiona Shaw, The Times 'One of the virtues of the approach Bate and Rasmussen have taken is to offer fresh ways of presenting the plays...I look forward to using it at my desk and perhaps in my classroom over many years...' - Peter Holland, Times Literary Supplement 'A handsome volume...printed on fine paper and elegantly designed... This is a beautiful book that will be a pleasure to own.' - Good Book Guide 'Professor Jonathan Bate has written thought provoking essays for each play, discussing the source material and its influence on the play as well as pointing out the familiarities...for...contemporary audiences... The glossary includes much that has been ignored in the past, enlightening the new student...as well as adding to the vocabulary of those who have been enjoying his plays all their lives... This volume is an invaluable resource to anyone interested in or simply in love with Shakespeare.' - Speech and Drama '... anyone who wants a good single volume edition of the plays... won't do better than this.' - Tribune 'Bate provides excellent introductory essays to each play and his terrific introduction, simply and effectively summarising everything you need to know about Shakespeare, man and work, is alone worth buying the edition for.' - The Daily Express 'This is a handsome and fascinating edition, elegantly set and easy to read.' - The Australian 'This hefty tome is well worth its weight in sovereigns. Jonathan Bate ad Eric Rasmussen have bravely gone where no Bard editors have gone before, basing the entire edition on the First Folio, the rehearsal room version authorised by actors John Hemmings and Henry Condell after Shakespeare's death. For the first time, the Royal Shakespeare Company has been closely involved in the developing of a collected works, including photography of RSC productions and insights into staging decisions. With reference notes and a dedicated website (www.rscshakespeare.co.uk), this is Shakespeare as you like it.' - What's On Stage 'This important new complete works', produced with the Royal Shakespeare Company, is elequantly designed.' - Good Book Guide 'A modernised and elegantly presented edition of Shakespeare's text.' - Times Higher Education Textbook Guide
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