Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 331. Wednesday, 26 May 1993.
Date: Wednesday, May 26, 1993
Subject: Editions of the Plays
In his response to my SHAKSPER's Uses query, Steve Urkowitz asks about
the editions we use. During SHAKSPER's early years, I brought up the
issue of whether we should require our students to purchase an anthology
edition of the plays or individual paperbacks. I too was planning for
the next semester and also wondered about the statement that requiring
a one-volume texts makes.
Well, the following semester I ordered the plays we studied in the
Bantam Classic editions, edited by David Bevington. The first day of
class I told my students that I had ordered paperbacks for our bookstore
but that I would go to the large bookstore near the University of Maryland
in College Park (where I live) and purchase the Riverside for anyone of them
who preferred to own a one-volume edition. YOU guessed it -- I ended up
making several trips to the UMCP Bookstore and bought Riverside editions
for all but one or two of my students. (They did, of course, pay me back.)
My policy since then has been to order the Riverside for our bookstore but
to have the following statement in my syllabus: Students may elect to
purchase either paperback copies of the plays we study (Arden, Bantam,
Signet, Oxford, Cambridge, The New Folger Library, Pelican, or New Penguin)
or a one-volume collection (Riverside or Bevington).
I also require the Bergeron and De Sousa *Shakespeare: A Study and Research
Guide* and recommend Schoenbaum's *Shakespeare: His Life, His Language,
His Theatre*, especially for those who do not buy the Riverside.
PS: I would especially like to thank all of you who responded to my SHAKSPER's
Uses query. I did not expect but I greatly appreciate the warm and generous
responses I have received both publically and privately.