The Arden Shakespeare is a long-running series of scholarly editions of the works of William Shakespeare. It presents fully edited modern-spelling editions of the plays and poems, with lengthy introductions and full commentaries. There have been three distinct series of the Arden Shakespeare over the past century, and the third series has not yet been completed. Arden was the maiden name of Shakespeare's mother, Mary, however the primary reference of the enterprise's title is named after the Forest of Arden, in which Shakespeare's As You Like It is set.
The first series was published by Methuen. Its first publication was Edward Dowden's edition of Hamlet, published in 1899. Over the next 25 years, the entire canon of Shakespeare was edited and published. The original editor of the Arden Shakespeare was William James Craig (1899-1906), succeeded by R. H. Case (1909-1944). The text of the Arden Shakespeare, First series, was based on the 1864 "Globe" or Cambridge edition of Shakespeare's Complete Works, edited by William George Clark and John Glover, as revised in 1891-93.
The second series began in 1946, with a new group of editors freshly re-editing the plays, and was completed in the 1980s. It was published by Methuen in both hardback and paperback. Later issues of the paperbacks featured cover art by the Brotherhood of Ruralists. The Second Series was edited by Una Ellis-Fermor (1946–58); Harold F. Brooks (1952–82), Harold Jenkins (1958–82) and Brian Morris (1975–82). Unlike the First Series, where each volume was based on the same textual source (The Globe Shakespeare), the individual editors of each volume of the Second Series were responsible for editing the text of the play in that edition.
The complete list of the second series is as follows: (title/ first publication date/ editor)
Macbeth 1951. Muir. Love's Labour's Lost. 1951. David. King Lear. 1952. Muir. Titus Andronicus. 1953. Maxwell. The Tempest. 1954 Kermode. Antony and Cleopatra. 1954. Ridley (uses series one intro by Case). Henry V. 1954. Walter. King John. 1954. Honigman. The Merchant of Venice. 1955. Brown. Julius Caesar. 1955. Dorsch. Cymbeline. 1955. Nosworthy. Richard II. 1956. Ure. 2 Henry VI. 1957. Cairncross. Henry VIII. 1957. Foakes. Timon of Athens. 1959. Oliver. Othello. 1959. Ridley. All's Well that Ends Well. 1959. Hunter. 1 Henry IV. 1960. Humphreys. 1 Henry VI. 1962. Cairncross. Comedy of Errors. 1962. Foakes. Pericles. 1963. Hoeniger. The Winter's Tale. 1963. Pafford. 3 Henry VI. 1964. Cairncross. Measure for Measure. 1965. Lever. 2 Henry IV. 1966. Humphreys. Two Gentlemen of Verona. 1969. Leech. The Merry Wives of Windsor. 1971. Oliver. As You Like It. 1975. Latham. Twelfth Night. 1975. Lothian & Craik. Corolianus. 1976. Brockbank. A Midsummer Night's Dream. 1979. Brooks. Romeo and Juliet. 1980. Gibbons. Much Ado About Nothing. 1981. Humphreys. Richard III. 1981. Hammond. Taming of the Shrew. 1981. Morris. Troilus and Cressida. 1982. Palmer. Hamlet. 1982. Jenkins.
The following plays in the second series have not yet been succeeded by published third series editions, and thus constitute the most up-to-date editions of these plays in the Arden Shakespeare series.
- King John, ed. by E. A. J. Honigsmann (1954)
- Cymbeline, ed. by J. M. Nosworthy (1955)
- All's Well That Ends Well, ed. by G. K. Hunter (1959)
- The Comedy of Errors, ed. by R. A. Foakes (1962)
- Measure for Measure, ed. by J. W. Lever (1965)
- A Midsummer Night's Dream, ed. by Harold F. Brooks (1979)
- King Henry IV, Part 2, ed. by A. R. Humphreys (1981)
The third series began in the 1990s. The first editions were initially published by Routledge, then by Thomson, and then by Cengage Learning. In December 2008, the series returned to Methuen, becoming part of Methuen Drama, a subsidiary of A & C Black. From February 2013, the titles have appeared under the Bloomsbury imprint. The general editors are Richard Proudfoot, Ann Thompson, David Scott Kastan, and Henry Woudhuysen. In 2010 an edition of Double Falsehood was published, which was somewhat controversial since this play is generally regarded as non-canonical. Subsequently, Sir Thomas More, a play for which Shakespeare likely contributed only one scene, was published as part of the series.
The Third Series edition of Hamlet, edited by Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor, presents the play in two volumes. The first volume, released in 2006, contains an edited text of the Second Quarto (1604–05), with passages found only in the First Folio included in an appendix, while the second volume, released a year later, contains the text of the First Quarto (sometimes called the "bad" quarto) of 1603 and the First Folio of 1623
The following is the list of plays published thus far in the Third Series.
- King Henry V, ed. by T. W. Craik (1995)
- Antony and Cleopatra, ed. by John Wilders (1995)
- Titus Andronicus, ed. by Jonathan Bate (1995)
- Othello, ed. by E. A. J. Honigmann (1996)
- The Two Noble Kinsmen, ed. by Lois Potter (1996)
- King Lear, ed. by R. A. Foakes (1997)
- Shakespeare's Sonnets, ed. by Katherine Duncan-Jones (1997)
- Troilus and Cressida, ed. by David Bevington (1998)
- Love's Labour's Lost, ed. by H. R. Woudhuysen (1998)
- Julius Caesar, ed. by David Daniell (1998)
- King Henry VI, Part 2, ed. by Ronald Knowles (1999)
- The Merry Wives of Windsor, ed. by Giorgio Melchiori (1999)
- The Tempest, ed. by Virginia Mason Vaughan and Alden T. Vaughan (1999)
- King Henry VI, Part 1, ed. by Edward Burns (2000)
- King Henry VIII, ed. by Gordon McMullan (2000)
- King Henry VI, Part 3, ed. by John D. Cox and Eric Rasmussen (2001)
- King Richard II, ed. by Charles R. Forker (2002)
- King Henry IV, Part 1, ed. by David Scott Kastan (2002)
- The Two Gentlemen of Verona, ed. by William C. Carroll (2004)
- Pericles, ed. by Suzanne Gossett (2004)
- Much Ado About Nothing, ed. by Claire McEachern (2005)
- Hamlet: The Text of 1604, ed. by Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor (2006)
- As You Like It, ed. by Juliet Dusinberre (2006)
- Hamlet: The Texts of 1603 and 1623, ed. by Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor (2007)
- Shakespeare's Poems, ed. by Katherine Duncan-Jones and H. R. Woudhuysen (2007)
- Twelfth Night, ed. by Keir Elam (2008)
- Timon of Athens, ed. by Anthony B. Dawson and Gretchen E. Minton (2008)
- King Richard III, ed. by James R. Siemon (2009)
- Double Falsehood, ed. by Brean Hammond (2010)
- The Taming of the Shrew, ed. by Barbara Hodgdon (2010)
- Shakespeare's Sonnets, revised edition, ed. by Katherine Duncan-Jones (2010)
- The Winter's Tale, ed. by John Pitcher (2010)
- The Merchant of Venice, ed. by John Drakakis (2011)
- Sir Thomas More, ed. by John Jowett (2011)
- The Tempest, revised edition, ed. by Virginia Mason Vaughan and Alden T. Vaughan (2011)
- Romeo and Juliet, ed. by René Weis (2012)
- Coriolanus, ed. by Peter Holland (2013)
- Macbeth, ed. by Sandra Clark and Pamela Mason (2015)
- The Two Noble Kinsmen, revised edition, ed. by Lois Potter (2015)
Eight canonical plays remain unpublished. Current scheduling means that the complete works of Shakespeare will have been reissued in the Third Series in a manner coinciding with the 400th anniversary of his death.
- The Comedy of Errors, ed. by Kent Cartwright (December 2015) 
- Measure for Measure, ed. by A. R. Braunmuller (late 2015) 
- King Henry IV, Part 2, ed. by James C. Bulman (February 2016)
- Cymbeline, ed. by Valerie Wayne (21 April 2016) 
- All's Well That Ends Well, ed. by Helen Wilcox (21 April 2016) 
- King John, ed. by John Tobin and Jesse Lander (21 April 2016) 
- A Midsummer Night's Dream, ed. by Sukanta Chaudhuri (2016) 
In addition to these, one further play which has heretofore made up part of the Shakespeare Apocrypha is set to be published in the series:
- King Edward III, ed. by Richard Proudfoot (2016)
Further revised editions of already published plays are also set for release. These revised editions, which have already been issued for the sonnets and The Tempest, tend to present the play as first published in the Third Series, albeit with a new cover, but are deemed necessary after a significant amount of time has passed and, therefore, seek to present the same scholarship with additional scholarly material demonstrating the series' desire to keep up to date with current scholarly practises.
- Much Ado About Nothing, revised edition, ed. by Claire McEachern (24 September 2015)
- Troilus and Cressida, revised edition, ed. by David Bevington (24 September 2015)
In March of 2015 Bloomsbury Academic named Peter Holland of the University of Notre Dame, Zachary Lesser of the University of Pennsylvania, and Tiffany Stern of Oxford University as general editors of The Arden Shakespeare, fourth series.
Arden Early Modern Drama
In 2009, the Arden Shakespeare launched the Arden Early Modern Drama series. The series follows the formatting and scholarly style of the Arden Shakespeare Third Series, but shifts the focus onto less well-known playwrights from the English Renaissance, primarily the Elizabethan, Jacobean and Caroline periods (although the plays Everyman and Mankind hail from the reign of King Henry VII.
- The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster, ed. by Leah S. Marcus (2009)
- Everyman and Mankind, ed. by Douglas Bruster and Eric Rasmussen (2009)
- Philaster by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, ed. by Suzanne Gossett (2009)
- The Renegado by Philip Massinger, ed. by Michael Neill (2010)
- 'Tis Pity She's a Whore by John Ford, ed. by Sonia Massai (2011)
- The Tragedy of Mariam by Elizabeth Cary, ed. by Ramona Wray (2012)
- The Island Princess by John Fletcher, ed. by Clare McManus (2013)
- The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd, ed. by Clara Calvo and Jesús Tronch (2013)
- A Jovial Crew by Richard Brome, ed. by Tiffany Stern (2014)
- The White Devil by John Webster, ed. by Benedict S. Robinson (2015)
- The Witch of Edmonton by Thomas Dekker, John Ford and William Rowley, ed. by Lucy Munro (2015)
- A Woman Killed with Kindness by Thomas Heywood, ed. by Margaret Jane Kidnie (2015)
- The Revenger's Tragedy, attributed to Thomas Middleton (2016)
- King Edward II by Christopher Marlowe, ed. by Jeffrey Masten (TBA)
- The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe, ed. by William H. Sherman and Chloe Kathleen Preedy (TBA)
Arden has also published a Complete Works of Shakespeare, which reprints editions from the second and third series.
The Arden Shakespeare has also published a number of series of literary and historical criticism to accompany the Arden Shakespeare Third Series and Arden Early Modern Drama imprints.
- Juliet Dusinberre, introduction to "As You Like It", Arden Shakespeare, Third Edition
- General Editors' Preference, The Tempest, Arden Shakespeare, 3rd Series, 1999
- Copyright page, "The Tempest", edited by Frank Kermode, Arden 2nd Series, 1954
- General Preface, King Lear, The Arden Shakespeare, copyrighted 1917
- General Editor's Preface by Una Ellis-Fermor, dated 1951, as printed in Macbeth, Arden Shakespeare, 2nd Series
- Copyright page, "Macbeth", edited by Kenneth Muir, Arden 2nd Series, printed 1994
- About Us, The Arden Shakespeare, A&C Black web site. Retrieved May 12, 2009.
- See "Coriolanus", Arden Shakespeare, Third Series (published February 2013)
- Preface, "Hamlet", Arden 3rd Series
- "Hamlet, the Texts of 1603 and 1623", Arden Shakespeare, 3rd Series.
- Addendum, "Coriolanus", Arden Shakespeare, Third Series (published February 2013)
- Deliyannides, Andrew. "Peter Holland Named General Editor of The Arden Shakespeare", University of Notre Dame, 3 March 2015.