List of Shakespeare reference materials

Revision as of 13:32, 18 August 2016 by DeborahLeslie (talk | contribs) (Added category)

General Background

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare, ed. Dobson and Wells (new ed. 2015) – PR2892 .O94 2015 RR

The New Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare, ed. De Grazia and Wells (2nd ed. 2010) – PR2894 C33 2010

The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare, ed. Smith (2016) – PR2976 C295 2016 RR Vol. 1 – “Shakespeare’s World, 1500-1660”; Vol. 2 – “The World’s Shakespeare, 1660-Present”

A Companion to Shakespeare, ed. David Scott Kastan (1999) – PR2910 C66 1999

The Reader’s Encyclopedia of Shakespeare, ed. Campbell and Quinn (1966) – PR2892 C3 copy 1 RR Older but has information that is not always available in more recent “companions.”

The various Companions provide articles on special subjects such as the Chamberlain’s-King’s Men; Licensing and Censorship; Reading the Bible and the Classics; Shakespeare and Race, Sexuality and Gender; Popular Culture; Media History; and Shakespeare’s London.


Quick and Comprehensive:

ODNB article by Peter Holland

Good, Basic:

Lois Potter, Life of William Shakespeare (2012) PR2894 P68 2012

Stanley Wells, William Shakespeare: a very short introduction (2015) PR2976 .W367 2015

Sound and Detailed:

S. Schoenbaum, William Shakespeare: a Documentary Life, 2 vols. (1975) PR2894 S31 copy 1 RR; PR2894 S33 1981 copy 1 RR

S. Shoenbaum, William Shakespeare: A Compact Documentary Life (1977) PR2894 S32 copy 2 RR

Classic, historical review of the documentary evidence for Shakespeare’s life. Should now be used with Shakespeare Documented for most current interpretation.


OpenSource Shakespeare Concordance

First Folio

Peter W.M. Blayney, First Folio of Shakespeare (1991) Z8811 B62 1991 Copy 1 RR

Foliomania! : stories behind Shakespeare’s most important book, ed., by Owen Williams. (2011, 2016) Folio PR3070 .F62 2011

Emma Smith, The Making of Shakespeare’s First Folio (2015) PR3071 S65 2015

Anthony James West, The Shakespeare First Folio, vol. 1 The History of the book; vol. 2 Worldwide Census (2001; 2003) Z8813 W48 2001 Copies 1 and 2, RR

Money in Shakespeare’s Time

Robert Bearman, Shakespeare’s Money: How Much Did He Make and What Did This Mean? (2016) PR2908 B43 2016

Numbers of Words, Sentences, Speeches, Prose/Poetry in Shakespeare

Marvin Spevack, The Harvard Concordance to Shakespeare (1973) PR2892 S653 copy 1 RR

Marvin Spevack, Complete and Systematic Concordance to the Works of Shakespeare (1968-80) PR2892 S65 RR

Both of these are based on early computer lexical analysis.


Interpretive questions involving words and lines: best answered by looking at the notes in the Folger edition and the new Arden, followed by the new Cambridge and Oxford editions (all in the RR)

Larger issues: “Texts and Contexts” series for 10 individual plays are excellent for discussions of important topics and excerpts from original source material – find by searching Bedford as keyword and “texts and contexts” as a keyword phrase.

Printing of Shakespeare

Andrew Murphy, Shakespeare in Print: A History and Chronology of Shakespeare Publishing (2003) PR3071 M87 2003 copy 2 RR

See Also:

Blayney (above) on First Folio

Articles in David Kastan, Companion (above), especially:

Shakespeare in print, 1593-1640 / Thomas L. Berger and Jesse M. Lander

’Precious few’ : English manuscript playbooks / William B. Long

The craft of printing, 1600 / Laurie E. Maguire

The London book-trade in 1600 / Mark Bland

Liberty, license, and authority : press censorship and Shakespeare / Cyndia Susan Clegg


Gary Logan, The Eloquent Shakespeare: a Pronouncing Dictionary (2008) PR3081 L63 2008

Louis Colaianni, Shakespeare’s Names: a New Pronouncing Dictionary (2001) PR3081 C83 1999

Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation [sound recording – British Library Board, 2012] CD558

Nice YouTube piece on original pronunciation done by Linguist Ben Crystal with his actor son Ben Crystal at the New Globe in London.

Shakespeare’s Theater

(see also the general Companions listed in section 1)

Andrew Gurr, The Shakespearean Stage, 1574-1642, 4th ed. (2009) PN2590 S7 G9 2009

Tiffany Stern, Documents of Performance in Early Modern England (2009) PR658 T4 S74 2009

Shakespeare’s Theatres and the Effects of Performance, ed. Farah Karim Cooper and Tiffany Stern (2013) PR3091 S53 2013

James Shapiro, A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599 (2005) PR2907 S47 2005 (Globe built in 1599)

Alan C. Dessen and Leslie Thomson, Dictionary of Stage Directions in English Drama, 1580-1642 (1999) PR658 S59 D47 1999 Copy 1 R.R.

Stage and Film

The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Stage, ed. Stanley Wells and Sarah Stanton (2002) PR3091 C36 2002 (Provides a history of Shakespeare in the theater from his own times to the modern era.)

The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Film, ed. Russell Jackson (2007) PR3093 C36 2007

Charles Shattuck, Shakespeare on the American Stage, vol. 1 From the Hallams to Edwin Booth; vol. 2 From Booth and Barrett to Sothern and Marlowe (1976; 1987) PR3105 S4 various copies

See also: British Film Institute website on Shakespeare

Library of Congress, List of Shakespeare on Film and Television