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 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
- King Henry V (1995)
- Antony and Cleopatra (1995)
- Titus Andronicus (1995)
- Othello (1996)
- The Two Noble Kinsmen (1996)
- King Lear (1997)
- Troilus and Cressida (1998)
- Love's Labour's Lost (1998)
- Julius Caesar (1998)
- King Henry VI, Part 2 (1999)
- The Merry Wives of Windsor (1999)
- King Henry VI, Part 1 (2000)
- King Henry VIII (2000)
- King Henry VI, Part 3 (2001)
- King Richard II (2002)
- King Henry IV, Part 1 (2002)
- The Two Gentlemen of Verona (2004)
- Pericles (2004)
- Much Ado About Nothing (2005)
- Hamlet: The Text of 1604 (2006)
- As You Like It (2006)
- Hamlet: The Texts of 1603 and 1623 (2007)
- Shakespeare's Poems (2007)
- Twelfth Night (2008)
- Timon of Athens (2008)
- King Richard III (2009)
- Double Falsehood (2010)
- The Taming of the Shrew (2010)
- Shakespeare's Sonnets (2010)
- The Winter's Tale (2010)
- The Merchant of Venice (2011)
- Sir Thomas More (2011)
- The Tempest (2011)
- Romeo and Juliet (2012)
- Coriolanus (2013)
As of February 2013, eight canonical plays remain unpublished:
- All's Well That Ends Well
- Cymbeline (2014?)
- The Comedy of Errors (2014?)
- King Henry IV, Part 2
- King John (2015)
- Macbeth (2014?)
- Measure for Measure
- A Midsummer Night's Dream
An edition of Edward III, attributing its composition in part to Shakespeare, was planned for release in 2013, but has been pushed back to 2015.
Arden Early Modern Drama
In 2009, the Arden Shakespeare began a new series entitled Arden Early Modern Drama. 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.
As of January 2014, the series will comprise:
- The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster (2009)
- Everyman and Mankind (2009)
- Philaster by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher (2009)
- The Renegado by Philip Massinger (2010)
- 'Tis Pity She's a Whore by John Ford (2011)
- The Tragedy of Mariam by Elizabeth Cary (2012)
- The Island Princess by John Fletcher (2012)
- The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd (2013)
- A Jovial Crew by Richard Brome (2014)
Arden has also published a Complete Works of Shakespeare, which reprints editions from the second and third series.
- 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)