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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: October ::
Most Significant Academic Books on Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0673  Tuesday, 9 October 2007

[1]	From: 	R. A. Cantrell <
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	Date: 	Monday, 8 Oct 2007 08:38:29 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0667 Most Significant Academic Books on Shakespeare

[2]	From: 	David Crosby <
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	Date: 	Monday, 8 Oct 2007 19:37:54 -0500
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 18.0667 Most Significant Academic Books on Shakespeare

[3]	From: 	Hardy M. Cook <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, October 09, 2007
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 18.0667 Most Significant Academic Books on Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		R. A. Cantrell <
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Date: 		Monday, 8 Oct 2007 08:38:29 -0500
Subject: 18.0667 Most Significant Academic Books on Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0667 Most Significant Academic Books on Shakespeare

 >I am preparing an annotated bibliography dealing with the most
 >significant academic books about Shakespeare of the past twenty-five or
 >thirty-years (give or take a few years!), and would appreciate any
 >suggestions of books I should include. Which have been the most
 >substantive? Which the most stimulating? Which the most influential?
 >Which the most  provocative?

Though it was published somewhat before your time frame, T. W. 
Baldwin's" William Shakespere's Small Latine & Lesse Greeke" remains the 
ne plus ultra of Shakespearian scholarship. More recently, the work of 
Gary Taylor and Brian Vickers must always be considered, but to 
appreciate" Re-Inventing Shakespeare" and "Appropriating Shakespeare," 
it will be helpful to read Schoenbaum's "Shakespeare's Lives." These 
works represent an orderly extension of research and thought executed in 
each case by careful, insightful scholars who write lucidly.

-- All the best, R.A. Cantrell

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Crosby <
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Date: 		Monday, 8 Oct 2007 19:37:54 -0500
Subject: 18.0667 Most Significant Academic Books on Shakespeare
Comment: 	RE: SHK 18.0667 Most Significant Academic Books on Shakespeare

Bob Evans asks for suggestions for "the most significant academic books 
about Shakespeare of the past |twenty-five or |thirty-years."

I hope I am not pushing the chronology too far back, but as I look back 
over my own career of teaching Shakespeare, the books I have found 
myself turning to time after time:

S.L. Bethell, _Shakespeare and the Popular Dramatic Tradition_ (perhaps 
the first academic in the last century to insist that Shakespeare was 
not an academic but a popular playwright)

David Bevington, _From Mankind to Marlowe_ (not about Shakespeare at 
all, but bringing to the notice of academic critics the vast underground 
of 16th century morality plays that shaped the conventions of 
Shakespeare's theater)

Glynne Wyckham, _Early English Stages_ (also not about Shakespeare, but 
providing absolutely essential context from the civic and court 
pageantry of earlier eras)

Richard Southern, _The Seven Ages of the Theatre_ (also not about 
Shakespeare, but how can we appreciate Shakespeare without his 
beautifully spare examination of dramatic structure)

Sam Schoenbaum, _Shakespeare: A Documentary Life_ (cleared out all the 
underbrush about Shakespearean biography to leave the clear outline of 
what we know; kept the Oxfordians at bay for half a century)

C. L. Barber, _Shakespeare's Festive Comedy_ (rooted Shakespeare's 
romantic comedy, and his comic characters, in the popular rituals and 
celebrations of his society, while celebrating his transforming power)

Jan Kott, _Shakespeare Our Contemporary_ (a bit out of favor now, but 
the first really influential presentist of the last century)

I will leave younger colleagues to bring the list up to date.

Cheers,
David Crosby

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Hardy M. Cook <
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Date: 		Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Subject: 18.0667 Most Significant Academic Books on Shakespeare
Comment: 	RE: SHK 18.0667 Most Significant Academic Books on Shakespeare

Lists such as the one under discussion here proposed by Bob Evans have 
appeared on SHAKSPER in the past under various guises. At those times, I 
usually nominate works from the '80s that changed the way I think about 
Shakespeare and have shaped my thinking and teaching ever since. The 
following (in no particular order) belong on any list I would compile of 
books of significance to me.

_Shakespeare: A Documentary Life_ (Schoenbaum)
_Alternative Shakespeares_ (Drakakis, ed.) (1st ed.)
_That Shakespearian Rag_ (Hawkes)
_Political Shakespeare_ (Dollimore and Sinfeld, eds.)
_Shakespearean Negotiations_ (Greenblatt)
_Shakespeare and the Question of Theory_ (Parker and Hartmann, eds.)

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