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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: August ::
Re: Arden Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1483  Wednesday 25 August 1999.

[1]     From:   Milla Riggio <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Aug 1999 10:55:41 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1476 Re: Arden Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Rachel Bridgman <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Aug 1999 17:16:54 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 10.1476 Re: Arden Shakespeare

[3]     From:   JH McWilliams <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Aug 1999 18:08:09 +0100 (BST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1476 Re: Arden Shakespeare

[4]     From:   David Levine <
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        Date:   Wed, 25 Aug 1999 01:36:17 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1476 Re: Arden Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Milla Riggio <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Aug 1999 10:55:41 -0400
Subject: 10.1476 Re: Arden Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1476 Re: Arden Shakespeare

For what it's worth and to add another unasked two cents worth of
advice:

In the upcoming TEACHING SHAKESPEARE THROUGH PERFORMANCE, an MLA book,
I've surveyed about ten different single play classroom editions and
another half dozen or so complete editions. The Arden no longer stands
up to its competition as anything other than a handsome relic of its own
distinguished past.  The days when responsible readers of Shakespeare
had to own the Ardens is long past; the updated versions are shadows of
other editions; no serious updating has been done.  The books still
carry the ghost of their own past, but I would recommend for serious use
the new Cambridge editions or the single Oxford editions (to my mind
MUCH better than the unwieldy large Oxford tomes); for inexpensive
classroom editions with tons of good materials, I suggest either the
Bantam or the rapidly forthcoming new Folger series.

The single volume Arden is no better than the single play volumes; it's
just bigger.

Milla Riggio

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rachel Bridgman <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Aug 1999 17:16:54 +0100
Subject: 10.1476 Re: Arden Shakespeare
Comment:        RE: SHK 10.1476 Re: Arden Shakespeare

Mr. Lischner is correct - The Arden Complete works is not intended for
scholarship but is deliberately more accessible to the average reader -
containing brief introductions before each play as well as a general
introduction by the Arden general editors. It is aimed at the
gift-market and theatre-going market. Hence it is extremely
competitively priced.

However, Mr. Levine may be pleased to know that in future years the
Arden team do plan to publish a complete works with full annotations in
keeping with the individual play editions and this will be higher priced
and aimed at students and scholars alike. Before we can do this though,
we need to first continue to publish our third series individual play
editions with full accompaniments.

Rachel Bridgman
Arden Marketing Manager

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           JH McWilliams <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Aug 1999 18:08:09 +0100 (BST)
Subject: 10.1476 Re: Arden Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1476 Re: Arden Shakespeare

>I think the Complete Arden Shakespeare is an excellent deal for the
>average reader. It is, of course, unsuitable for scholarship, but that
>is not its purpose. Personally, I think any home library is incomplete
>without the works of Shakespeare, but I do not expect the average
>reader
>to purchase a complete set of individual Arden editions. When friends
>ask me to recommend an edition of Shakespeare's complete works, I
>suggest the Arden. At $32 (from amazon.com), it is a bargain

But for an edition with NO apparatus whatsoever, it is a rip off, isn't
it? You could buy the Oxford for a tenner, or (for a more conservative
text) the Alexander (with some useful stuff in it) for the same. Even
the Norton (18 pounds for the paperback) is less than the Arden, and
that has loads of useful stuff in it. Like David Levine, I was shocked
by the shoddiness of an edition trading on the Arden name.

John McWilliams

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Levine <
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Date:           Wed, 25 Aug 1999 01:36:17 EDT
Subject: 10.1476 Re: Arden Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1476 Re: Arden Shakespeare

For the general reader, the Arden isn't much of a deal, simply because
it hasn't really got adequate notes.  Of course, a one-volume
Shakespeare is essential, but at the moment, the one-volume Pelican is
widely available remaindered.  The one I preferred (which is, I suppose,
unavailable as we speak) was the old one-volume Complete Signet, which
had wonderful introductions and perfectly good notes. It is certainly
true that the other contenders (I guess I would choose the Riverside,
but the second edition isn't exactly portable; I have problems with the
Norton, but the format is better) are just TOO expensive.  The pity is
that the edition is such a missed opportunity, and the publishers (who
are listening, but doubtless don't really give much of a f**k) should be
ashamed.
 

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