Arden Shakespeare


Doing Shakespeare

Bloomsbury Publishing

A thoroughly revised edition of the successful student text Doing Shakespeare, first published in 2005. The book's success lies in the close readings of speeches and scenes it gives students, demystifying the language of the plays and critical approaches to them.

This new edition introduces a new way of approaching Shakespeare's text, through ideas of performance and the actor's role and restructures the content to make it easier to navigate, with clear signposting throughout, guiding students to the content most useful to them.

Simon Palfrey takes a direct approach to the common difficulties faced by students "doing" Shakespeare and tackles them head-on in a no-nonsense style, making the book especially accessible. He brings us much closer to the animate life of the plays, as things that are not finished monuments but living material, in process and up for grabs, empowering students to see opportunities for their own creative or re-creative readings of Shakespeare.

Essential Shakespeare

Bloomsbury Publishing

An introductory critical study for first year undergraduates which bridges the gap between A Level and university study. The book offers an accessible overview of key critical perspectives, early modern contexts, and methods of close reading, as well as screen and stage performances spanning several decades. Organised around the discussion of fourteen major plays, it introduces readers to the diverse theoretical approaches typical of today's English studies. This is a go-to resource that can be consulted thematically or by individual play or genre.

Critical approaches can overwhelm students who are daunted by the quantity and complexity of current scholarship; Bickley and Stevens are experienced teachers at both A and university level and are thus uniquely qualified to show how a mix of critical ideas can be used to inform ways of thinking about a play.

'The particular strength of Pamela Bickley and Jenny Stevens' thorough guide to the study of Shakespeare's plays is its targeting. Their discussion of each of fourteen of the plays is framed via the introduction of a theoretical method and an exploration of Shakespeare's language, thus offering a critical tool-kit aimed squarely and effectively at undergraduates and ambitious sixthformers . . . Bickley and Stevens know their audience and address it clearly and unpatronisingly. Everyone who wants, or is just beginning, to study English literature at university would benefit from this book.' Around the Globe

'[T]his engaging volume successfully explains the most important concepts related to the playwright's use of language through a number of critical perspectives ...The Essential Shakespeare is a well-balanced synthesis where each chapter provides a real wealth of information about the playwright. More importantly, it offers a highly readable overview of Shakespeare's main plays for those already acquainted with the playwright's language ... [I]t certainly deserves to be given a special place on academic bookshelves.' Cercles

Shakespeare: An Ungentle Life

Bloomsbury Publishing

'[A] deeply considered and stimulating book, informed throughout by the author's intimate knowledge of the literature and society of Shakespeare's age... ' Stanley Wells, TLS

'It is unquestionably the best Shakespearean biography of the new century' Jonathan Bate, Sunday Telegraph

This major biography of Shakespeare was first published in 2001 to great critical acclaim. It remains highly regarded and much cited by critics and scholars. Its author, Katherine Duncan Jones was an advisor to William Boyd for his film about Shakespeare's life (A Waste of Shame).

The book shows Shakespeare as a man among men and a writer among writers. He lives in a congested city, where he encounters disease, debt and cut-throat competition. His brilliance often makes him the object of envy and malice rather than adulation. He is a shrewd purchaser of property and shows no inclination to divert any of his wealth to charitable or altruistic ends. He appears to be more interested in relationships with well-born young men than with women. Duncan Jones takes us through the complexities of life in late Elizabethan and early Jacobean England in a compelling well-told story.

For this paperback reissue, the author has written a new Preface, detailing some of the recent debates about Shakespeare's biography and identity.

'[A] deeply considered and stimulating book, informed throughout by the author's intimate knowledge of the literature and society of Shakespeare's age... These scenes from Shakespeare's life...offer refreshing alternative points of view that no future biographers will be able to ignore Stanley Wells, TLS

'It is unquestionably the best Shakespearean biography of the new century' Jonathan Bate, Sunday Telegraph

'...a model of lucid scholarship which tries neither to beatify nor vilify its subject, but to present [Shakespeare] as a living figure in the heat and the dust of the passing world' The Times

'Katherine Duncan-Jones's constantly illuminating and hugely enjoyable biography restores the author and his plays to bubbly life...Duncan-Jones triumphantly constructs an upsetting trajectory from playful youth to rancorous skinflint, through which art matures even as character hardens' The Observer

'Engrossing...Her account of Shakespeare's hypothetical entry into the theatrical profession is a tour de force of biographical reconstruction...Katherine Duncan-Jones shines light into dark corners and brings skeletons out of the closet. Her courageous biography is partisan, idiosyncratic, and unforgettable. Anyone seriously interested in Shakespeare should read it.' Shakespeare Quarterly

'A brilliant book...Fresh and original.' Literary Review

Shakespeare in London

Bloomsbury Publishing

Shakespeare in London offers a lively and engaging new reading of some of Shakespeare's major work, informed by close attention to the language of his drama. The focus of the book is on Shakespeare's London, how it influenced his drama and how he represents it on stage. Taking readers on an imaginative journey through the city, the book moves both chronologically, from beginning to end of Shakespeare's dramatic career, and also geographically, traversing london from west to east.

Each chapter focuses on one play and one key locatio, drawing out the thematic connections between the place and the drama it underwrites. Plays discussed in detail include Hamlet, Richard II, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, King Lear and Romeo and Juliet. Close textual readings accompany the wealth of contextual material, providing a fresh and exciting way into Shakespeare's work.

'Shakespeare's comedies and tragedies seem to take place everywhere but Elizabethan London: Athens, Elsinore, Ephesus, Rome, Troy, Venice, Verona. This engaging book shows, contrary to received tradition, how deeply Shakespeare's experience of life in London inspired the themes and scenes of plays purportedly set elsewhere.' Lena Cowen Orlin, Professor of English, Georgetown University, USA

The Arden Shakespeare has long set the gold standard in annotated, scholarly editions of Shakespeare’s plays. Each Arden edition offers a modernized text with comprehensive commentary notes glossing meanings, discussing staging issues and explaining literary allusions, together with a lengthy illustrated introduction by a leading scholar exploring the play’s critical, theatrical and historical contexts. Each Arden edition includes:

• a full and concise introduction with illustrations, designed to engage and attract the reader

• a modernized, easy-to-read version of the text

• thorough commentary on every page explaining the speech and action taking place

• detailed explanations of unusual words and phrases

• appendices, source notes and extracts giving a fully rounded understanding for students

• an index providing a pathway through the material.

General Editors: David Scott Kastan, Yale University, USA; Richard Proudfoot, Emeritus Professor, King's College London, UK; Ann Thompson, King's College London, UK; and H. R. Woudhuysen, University College London, UK.