Bret James Stewart's Reviews > The Riverside Shakespeare

The Riverside Shakespeare by William Shakespeare
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it was amazing

Oceans of ink have been written about Shakespeare's works, so I see no reason to add my two pence. As to this edition, though, I have many good things to say. It is an academic edition, and I am please with the book for a number of reasons.

First off, the book is attractive and well made. The hardcover is sturdy, the interior artwork is elucidating and fun, and the complete works are included, even the ones whose canonicity are only probable.

Different scholars write the general and individual work introductions, which is nice as it adds variety and exposes the reader to different approaches and views of the works.

The book is heavily glossed on the page where the text in question appears, which is great as you can simply look down to find the information. Most readers are not going to know all the nuances of Elizabethan English, so this glossing is vital to understanding ye olde utterances of The Bard.

There are various appendices dealing with the stage history of the works, original source material, and timelines as well as a bibliography and selected glossary at the end.

This book is my favourite by far of Shakespearean books in regard to completeness and reading aids. It also helps me get my exercise carrying it around the house as it clocks in at just over 2,000 pages. I read every one of them. You should, too.

Regarding the plays, they are written to be performed and are best enjoyed, in my opinion, in performance combined with reading. I read first and after and have no preference myself as to which should be done first, but I definitely recommend both. I personally found the BBC versions of the plays to be great as they are Englishmen and talented. The videos are free on youtube. The BBC set out to do all the plays, which is great because you can watch some of the lesser performed works. I am not sure the canonical views of the BBC and this book match 100%, so a few of the plays that were previously not considered Shakespearean may not be available. Still, watch those you can. Then, read this wonderful text (or vice-versa) for a deeper enjoyment of these works; they really are timeless and worth the time necessary to invest in the experience.
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Reading Progress

October 31, 2013 – Started Reading
October 31, 2013 – Shelved
March 28, 2015 – Finished Reading

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