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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: May ::
Re: Single Volume Editions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0843  Friday, 2 May 2003

From:           John-Paul Spiro <
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Date:           Thursday, 01 May 2003 11:37:29 -0400
Subject: 14.0830 Re: Single Volume Editions
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0830 Re: Single Volume Editions

I'm not a fan of the Norton Shakespeare.  I take issue with several of
the editorial choices, and many of the glosses and footnotes create more
problems than they solve.  The 1997 Riverside has served me well as a
Collected Works.

As for single-volume editions, I have found no one series to be wholly
reliable, aside from the Ardens, which are rather expensive.  So far I
find the introductions to the Oxford single editions to be better than
the Ardens, and the notes are good, though some emendations are
annoying--e.g., Jay Halio changing Lorenzo's line to Jessica, "So you
are sweet/Even in the lovely garnish of a boy" (2.6.46-47) to "lowly
garnish of a boy," removing any homosexual hint--because, as we all
know, there are no homosexual hints in The Merchant of Venice.  I have
not found another edition that makes this change.

The Oxfords, however, run about $8.00 each, which can be a lot for my
students.  I often use the Pelicans because the supplements are scant
and thus don't get in the way.  They're also thin and light and cheap.

John-Paul

[Editor's Note: The updated Complete Pelican Shakespeare is currently
available. It's a compact, lightly annotated, clean text; and at a
street price of $45 it is a reasonably priced alternative to the big
three (Norton, Bevington, Riverside). -Hardy]

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