The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0216 Monday, 28 January 2002
Date: Sunday, 27 Jan 2002 13:34:06 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 13.0179 Thanks and Commendation to GE
Comment: Re: SHK 13.0179 Thanks and Commendation to GE
>In early December, Gabriel Egan recommended the Campbell and Quinn *The
>Reader's Encyclopedia of Shakespeare*. Having the luxury of reading all
>submissions before sending them out to the members, I took advantage of
>my privileged position and immediately ordered a copy from
>www.abebooks.com. I have found this somewhat dated but remarkably
>comprehensive and accurate reference a joy.
No Shakespeare scholar should be without Campbell and Quinn. I'm glad
you found a second hand copy. I always send my students looking for it
at Strand where it pops up pretty regularly.
Though its 1966 publishing date may suggest it is dated, it offers of
some of the best scholarship of the twentieth century, including entries
by Muriel Bradbrook, C. Walter Hodges, G. Wilson Knight, Clifford Leech,
C. J. Sisson, Irving Ribner, Allardyce Nicoll, Alfred Harbage, and G.
B. Harrison. There are even some entries, including one on "Samuel
Taylor Coleridge," by SHAKSPER's own Terence Hawkes, who could not have
been more than a precocious undergraduate at the time!
Beside it on every dramatic scholar's shelf should sit the companion
volume, "The Reader's Encyclopedia of World Drama," published three
years later and edited by Gassner and Quinn (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell
Co., 1969), where an equally illustrious group of scholars contribute
articles on every aspect of world drama. I regularly brush up on my
dates and names in Gassner and Quinn when I prepare to lecture on a
topic I have not looked at lately and have even been known to keep it
near at hand on the lectern.
A couple of other recent collections of background articles deserve
"A New History of Early Modern Drama," edited by James D. Cox and David
Scott Kastan, with an introduction by Stephen Greenblatt (New York:
Columbia U.P., 1997) has recent scholarship on many important background
topics including University production, printing (covered brilliantly by
Peter Blayney), Theater structure by John Orrell, and many others of
equal stature. The 44-page bibliography alone is worth the purchase
"A Companion to Shakespeare," edited by David Scott Kastan (Oxford, UK
and Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1999) collects an equally illustrious cast of
current scholars who focus on Shakespeare's life, times and works.
These two volumes will help bring the reader up to date with the most
current scholarship in the field.
I look forward to examining the Oxford Companion, which I am certain
will be equally valuable.
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