The Oxford companion to Shakespeare /

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Bibliographic Details
Edition:Second edition.
Imprint:Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2015.
Description:xxix, 574 pages : illustrations, maps ; 29 cm
Subject:Shakespeare, William, -- 1564-1616 -- Encyclopedias.
Shakespeare, William, -- 1564-1616.
Format: Map Print Book
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
Other authors / contributors:Dobson, Michael, 1960- editor.
Wells, Stanley, 1930- editor.
Sharpe, Will, editor.
Sullivan, Erin (Cultural historian), editor.
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary:The Oxford companion to Shakespeare' is the most comprehensive reference work available on Shakespeare's life, times, works, and his 400-year global legacy. In addition to the authoritative A-Z entries, it includes nearly 100 illustrations, a chronology, a guide to further reading, a thematic contents list, and special feature entries on each of Shakespeare's works. Tying in with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, this much-loved Companion has been revised and updated, reflecting developments and discoveries made in recent years and to cover the performance, interpretation, and the influence of Shakespeare's works up to the present day. First published in 2001, the online edition was revised in 2011, with updates to over 200 entries plus 16 new entries. These online updates appear in print for the first time in this second edition, along with a further 35,000 new and revised words. These include more than 80 new entries, ranging from important performers, directors, and scholars (such as Lucy Bailey, Samuel West, and Alfredo Michel Modenessi), to topics as diverse as Shakespeare in the digital age and the ubiquity of plants in Shakespeare's works, to the interpretation of Shakespeare globally, from Finland to Iraq. To make information on Shakespeare's major works easier to find, the feature entries have been grouped and placed in a centre section (fully cross-referenced from the A-Z). The thematic listing of entries - described in the press as 'an invaluable panorama of the contents' - has been updated to include all of the new entries. This edition contains a preface written by much-lauded Shakespearian actor Simon Russell Beale.Full of both entertaining trivia and scholarly detail, this authoritative Companion will delight the browser and reward students, academics, as well as anyone wanting to know more about Shakespeare.
Review by Choice Review

This revised second edition of The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare preserves many of the strengths and weaknesses of the first edition (CH, May'02, 39-5056), though publishing conventions and the needs and resources of research libraries have evolved significantly. The volume has much for neophytes and introductory students, but of necessity provides the sparsest of starting points. Many of the entries are brief to the point of unhelpfulness, and readers could certainly find as much and more with a simple Internet search. Some of the longer entries offer a nice balance of weight and concision. The preface to this edition states that the updated material focuses on "new discoveries in theatre archaeology and history," and that the coverage extends to "several major film adaptations of Shakespeare's plays and many innovative stage productions." Most helpful are the updated guides to further reading and the new entries "exploring Shakespeare's digital presence." And therein hangs a tale: the new material, though it brings the volume "up to speed," does not warrant the expense for those that already possess an earlier edition. The entire enterprise would make much more sense as a digital resource, where updates could be made incrementally as need be, and thus better and more efficiently managed and delivered. Summing Up: Optional. Comprehensive collections only. --Duke Pesta, University of Wisconsin--Oshkosh

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review