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22 Jun 2007
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This limited print-run Collector's edition of the Complete Works of Shakespeare was developed in partnership with The Royal Shakespeare Company and is edited by two of the world's leading Shakespeare scholars. Richly illustrated and bound in soft brown leather with gold lettering and ribbon markers, it is delivered tissue wrapped in a gift box.


This limited print-run Collector's edition of the Complete Works of Shakespeare was developed in partnership with The Royal Shakespeare Company and is edited by two of the world's leading Shakespeare scholars. Richly illustrated and bound in soft brown leather with gold lettering and ribbon markers, it is delivered tissue wrapped in a gift box.


'This new Complete Works from the RSC is a glorious edition of one of the world's most important books. It's the essential reference book for anyone who's ever been in love, felt jealousy, fear, hatred, or desire. All human life is here - and every home should have one.' - Dame Judi Dench

'Timely, original, and beautifully conceived, the RSC edition makes Shakespeare's extraordinary accomplishment more vivid than ever.' - James Shapiro, Professor, Columbia University and prize-winning author of 1599: A Year in the Life of Shakespeare

'Bate provides excellent introductory essays to each play and his terrific introduction, simply and effectively summarising everything you need to know about Shakespeare, man and work, is alone worth buying the edition for.' - The Daily Express

'Thanks to Bate and Rasmussen, we now have a rendering of the Complete Works that, in a rare publishing achievement, would also give complete satisfaction to the author himself.' - Robert McCrum, The Observer

'A magnificent new volume.' - A. N. Wilson, Daily Telegraph

'A triumphant addition to our times.' - Fiona Shaw, The Times

'This outstanding new edition of Shakespeare's plays is the closest yet to the originals ... a new and thoroughly radical edition ... supervised by Jonathan Bate, an outstanding scholar (and author of the best existing biography of Shakespeare) who writes with as much elegance as insight about the making of theatre and the creation of the plays... an impeccably informative introduction gives a comprehensive theatrical, social, political and biographical context to the plays. There are pithy essays, also by Bate, to introduce each play as well as exemplary notes at the foot of each page which translate verbal and topical obscurities ... for actors and directors it will be incomparably useful, but for any curious reader of Shakespeare's plays it provides an invaluable guide to reading them not as novels or dramatic poems, but as they were intended to be read: blueprints for live performance.' - Richard Eyre, The Sunday Telegraph

'Excellent, succinct notes and introductions to each play.' - John Carey, The Sunday Times

'A splendid edition. The general introduction is among the best 50-page guides to Shakespeare you could hope to find, while the short essays prefixed to each play are like the best kind of programme notes - informative, thought-provoking and humane. Marginal notes help readers imagine what's happening onstage ... The RSC's edition tells you all you need to know about the life, but also, vitally, allows you to lose yourself in the wonder of the works.' - Dr Colin Burrow, All Souls College, Oxford University, writing in The Evening Standard

'The paper quality and page design are excellent, and the illustrations in the introductory materials are lavish and well reproduced ...a virtual comet-tail of supplementary materials are to be found at - the RSC is certainly the first edition of Shakespeare to provide a link to it's editor's blog.... Bate's general introduction to Shakespeare's life, stage and reputation is superb, and the short introductions to individual works, in particular, are among the best of their kind available...they manage to speak about what really matters about the plays to readers who wish, whether they are already familiar with them or not, to come to them freshly. ' - Michael Dobson, writing in The London Review of Books

'This is a handsome and fascinating edition, elegantly set and easy to read.' - The Australian

'A handsome volume, it is printed on fine paper and elegantly designed and printed, with clear typeface. This special edition is bound in black leather; it is a beautiful book that will be a pleasure to own.' - Good Book Guide

'One of the virtues of the approach Bate and Rasmussen have taken is to offer fresh ways of presenting the plays' - Peter Holland, TLS


Preface; J.Bate
General Introduction; J.Bate
A User's Guide
Preliminary pages of the First Folio
Foreword; M.Boyd, Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Company
For each play:
Individual introduction by Jonathan Bate
On-page footnote gloss which explains unfamiliar or obsolete words and classical, biblical or contemporary references where WS assumes audience knowledge
Appendices of any significant passages that are not in First Folio
'Key Facts' box with: plot summary, major roles, date, linguistic medium, sources, textual notes

The Tempest
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Measure for Measure
The Comedy of Errors
Much Ado about Nothing
Love's Labour's Lost
A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Merchant of Venice
As You Like It
The Taming of the Shrew
All's Well that Ends Well
Twelfth Night, or What You Will
The Winter's Tale

The Life and Death of King John
The Life and Death of King Richard the Second
The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry surnamed Hotspur
The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, containing his Death and the Coronation of King Henry the Fifth
The Life of Henry the Fifth
The First Part of Henry the Sixth
The Second Part of Henry the Sixth, with the Death of the Good Duke Humphrey
The Third Part of Henry the Sixth, with the Death of the Duke of York
The Tragedy of Richard the Third, with the Landing of Earl Richmond and the Battle at Bosworth Field
The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eighth

The Tragedy of Troilus and Cressida
The Tragedy of Coriolanus
The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus
The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet
The Life of Timon of Athens
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
The Tragedy of Macbeth
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
The Tragedy of King Lear
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice
The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra
The Tragedy of Cymbeline

Pericles, Prince of Tyre, by William Shakespeare and George Wilkins
The Two Noble Kinsmen, by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher

Venus and Adonis
The Rape of Lucrece
'Let the bird of loudest lay' (also known as 'The Phoenix and Turtle')
'To the Queen'
Shakespeare's Sonnets

A Scene from Sir Thomas More
(Introduction, transcription and modernized text by Eric Rasmussen)

Shakespeare's Works: A Conjectural Chronology
Kings and Queens of England: from the History Plays to Shakespeare's Lifetime
The Houses of Lancaster and York: A Genealogy
The history behind the histories: a chronology
The history behind the tragedies: a chronology

Alphabetical Index of Plays and Poems


JONATHAN BATE is Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature, University of Warwick, UK. He has held visiting posts at Harvard, Yale and UCLA and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Fellow of the British Academy, an Honorary Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, and a Governor and Board member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. A prominent critic, award-winning biographer and broadcaster, he is the author of several books on Shakespeare, including The Genius of Shakespeare (Picador), which was praised by Sir Peter Hall, founder of the RSC, as "the best modern book on Shakespeare." In June 2006 he was awarded a CBE by HM The Queen 'for services to Higher Education'.

ERIC RASMUSSEN is Professor of English at the University of Nevada, USA. He is co-editor of the Norton Anthology of English Renaissance Drama and has edited volumes in both the Arden Shakespeare and Oxford World's Classics series. He is the General Textual Editor of the Internet Shakespeare Editions project - one of the most visited Shakespeare websites in the world. For over nine years he has written the annual review of editions and textual studies for the Shakespeare Survey.