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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: May ::
Re: Best Multivolume Editions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1092  Thursday, 10 May 2001

[1]     From:   Pat Dolan <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 9 May 2001 12:16:19 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 12.1078 Best Multivolume Editions?

[2]     From:   Mari Bonomi <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 9 May 2001 15:53:49 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1078 Best Multivolume Editions?

[3]     From:   Drew Whitehead <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 May 2001 10:13:35 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1078 Best Multivolume Editions?

[4]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 May 2001 10:08:09 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 12.1078 Best Multivolume Editions?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pat Dolan <
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Date:           Wednesday, 9 May 2001 12:16:19 -0500
Subject: 12.1078 Best Multivolume Editions?
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.1078 Best Multivolume Editions?

>Wants nice hardcover editions that will presumably make the shelf
        look nice, with good notes (not necessarily Wilson or Jenkins
level,
        but....). This guy's a VP at a big corp, so price probably isn't
a big
        issue. Arden?

Can the old Yale series still be had used? That's what my dad bought
when started to make real money as a radiologist and I loved the size
and feel of the volumes. I have no idea how good or bad the text/notes
were, but when I was thirteen and fourteen, they were the top for me.

Cheers,
Pat

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mari Bonomi <
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Date:           Wednesday, 9 May 2001 15:53:49 -0400
Subject: 12.1078 Best Multivolume Editions?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1078 Best Multivolume Editions?

For mass-market paperbacks I'd say Folger Library... since the notes are
on the facing page and even my high school sophomores could decode the
jokes pretty easily, except for the more salacious ones (oddly enough).

For trade paperback I like Oxford World Classics, actually :)

Mari Bonomi

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Drew Whitehead <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 May 2001 10:13:35 +1000
Subject: 12.1078 Best Multivolume Editions?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1078 Best Multivolume Editions?

Dear Steve:

No doubt you'll get a myriad of responses but since I have a "thing"
about collecting editions I thought I'd give you my opinion.

>1. Wants small--rack-size paper--for traveling, but with notes good
>enough to get the jokes. Signet? Bantam?

I'd go for the Norton in paperback. You're not going to get a complete
edition that's small unless it's on CD ROM.  But the Norton is very
good, high quality glosses, very up to date on sexual references and
puns (something often passed over in some older editions), and fairly
compact.  I have one although it's hardback and find it very useful.

>2. Wants nice hardcover editions that will presumably make the shelf
>look nice, with good notes (not necessarily Wilson or Jenkins level,
>but....). This guy's a VP at a big corp, so price probably isn't a big
>issue. Arden?

Here the Riverside, or the Norton in hardback.  The Riverside is a bit
older, not quite as up to date on textual matters but has lots of useful
background information and pictures and looks impressive.  The Hardback
Norton if you can still get it in its hardbound sleeve also looks good
on a shelf and (this is important) is easy to hold in your hands and
read.

>3. I'll toss in a third type--folks who want quality paperback editions.

Quality and highly detailed paperback, go for the Arden III editions,
unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you choose to view it)
the series is not fully completed yet, so you get to collect them as
they come out (always fun).

For a high quality, inexpensive paperback (the Ardens can be a bit
pricey) go for the New Pelican series by Orgel and Branmuller.  A very
good series, excellent for reading on trains, planes, and automobiles
but it has one major drawback which unfortunately has flawed the first
complete Shakespeare series of the 21st century -- it has no edition of
The Two Noble Kinsmen, which you will find in all the other editions.

Drew Whitehead

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 May 2001 10:08:09 +0100
Subject: 12.1078 Best Multivolume Editions?
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.1078 Best Multivolume Editions?

3. Quality Paperback Editions

I would certainly vote for Arden3, which is becoming very impressive.
The problem is that they are only about one-third of the way through,
and will take at the very least another ten years to complete.  The
Arden2 series took over 30 years to complete, and that happened 20 years
ago, so the early volumes are seriously inadequate by now, although the
last volumes are still impressive.  The Oxford series has been going for
longer (over half way?) but at a slower rate, so they will probably
finish at the same time as Arden3 or slightly before.

The introductions of the Arden3 volumes are massive, and where there is
a 'bad' quarto text, a reduced facsimile is given as an appendix.  The
Oxford volumes have substantial introductions, but the series is
starting to develop eccentricities: the R&J volume edits the Folio text,
but provides an edited quarto text as an appendix.  By contrast, King
Lear, which has separate texts for quarto and folio in the Oxford
Complete Works, is only edited in the quarto text.  And John Jowett's R3
edits only the quarto text, relegating the folio-only passages to an
appendix, and introducing a complicated double collation.  Oxford are
now finding themselves going head to head with Arden3: both produced a
H8 last year (the comparison didn't favour Oxford), and we are promised
a 3H6 from both later this year.

The New Cambridge Shakespeare started in the 1980s and must be
substantially complete by now.  This has been less ambitious (the
innovations have been including titles such as Edward III, and separate
editions of early quartos), and the introductions of the early volumes
seem inadequate when compared to Oxford or Arden3 (or even late Arden2).

John Briggs

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