Arden Shakespeare

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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.[1]

First Series[edit]

The first series was published by Methuen. Its first publication was Edward Dowden's edition of Hamlet, published in 1899.[2] 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).[3] 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,[4] as revised in 1891-93.[5]

Second Series[edit]

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).[6] 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.[7]

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.

Third Series[edit]

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.[8] From February 2013, the titles have appeared under the Bloomsbury imprint.[9] 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.[10] 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,[11] 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[12]

The following is the list of plays published thus far in the Third Series, as of May 2014.

Eight canonical plays remain unpublished.[13] 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.

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:

It has also been announced that three further revised editions of already published plays are 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.

  • The Two Noble Kinsmen, revised edition, ed. by Lois Potter (26 February 2015)
  • 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)

Arden Early Modern Drama[edit]

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.

Complete Works[edit]

Arden has also published a Complete Works of Shakespeare, which reprints editions from the second and third series.

Critical Literature[edit]

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.

Arden Critical Companions[edit]

  • Shakespeare and the Victorians, by Adrian Poole (2003)
  • Shakespeare and Renaissance Politics, by Andrew Hadfield (2003)
  • Shakespeare and Renaissance Europe, ed. by Andrew Hadfield and Paul Hammond (2004)
  • Shakespeare and Elizabethan Popular Culture, ed. by Stuart Gillespie and Neil Rhodes (2005)
  • Shakespeare and Comedy, by R. W. Maslen (2005)
  • Shakespeare and Music, by David Lindley (2005)
  • Shakespeare and the Medieval World, by Helen Cooper (2010)
  • Shakespeare and Religion, by Alison Shell (2010)
  • Shakespeare and Law, by Andrew Zurcher (2010)
  • Shakespeare and His Texts, by Tom Lockwood (TBA)

Arden Early Modern Drama Guides[edit]

  • The Alchemist: A Critical Reader (2013)
  • The Jew of Malta: A Critical Reader (2013)
  • Macbeth: A Critical Reader (2013)
  • Richard III: A Critical Reader (2013)
  • Twelfth Night: A Critical Reader (2013)
  • The Tempest: A Critical Reader (2014)
  • Othello: A Critical Reader (2015)
  • Romeo and Juliet: A Critical Reader (2015)

The State of Play[edit]

  • Macbeth: The State of Play, ed. by Ann Thompson (2014)
  • Othello: The State of Play, ed. by Lena Cowen Orlin (2014)

Arden Shakespeare Library[edit]

  • Shakespeare and Language: Reason, Eloquence and Artifice in the Renaissance, by Jonathan Hope (2005)
  • Shakespeare: From Upstart Crow to Sweet Swan - The Evolution of His Image, 1592-1623, by Katherine Duncan-Jones (2011)
  • Marlowe's Literary Scepticism: Politic Religion and Post-Reformation Polemic, by Chloe Kathleen Preedy (2013)

Other books[edit]

  • Shakespeare: Text, Stage and Canon, by Richard Proudfoot (2000)
  • Reading Shakespeare's Dramatic Language: A Guide, ed. by Sylvia Adamson, Lynette Hunter, Lynne Magnusson, Ann Thompson and Katie Wales (2000)
  • Ungentle Shakespeare: Scenes From His Life, by Katherine Duncan-Jones (2001)
  • In Arden: Editing Shakespeare - Essays in Honour of Richard Proudfoot, ed. by Ann Thompson and Gordon McMullan (2002)
  • Shakespeare's Grammar, by Jonathan Hope (2003)
  • Doing Shakespeare, by Simon Palfrey (2004)
  • Shakespeare: An Ungentle Life, by Katherine Duncan-Jones (2010)
  • The Arden Shakespeare Miscellany, by Jane Armstrong (2011)
  • Shakespeare Up Close: Reading Early Modern Texts, ed. by Russ MacDonald, Nicholas D. Nace and Travis D. Williams (2012)
  • Shakespeare's Theatres and the Effects of Performance, ed. by Farah Karim Cooper and Tiffany Stern (2013)
  • A Year of Shakespeare: Re-living the World Shakespeare Festival, ed. by Paul Edmondson, Paul Prescott and Erin Sullivan (2013)
  • Essential Shakespeare: The Arden Guide to Text and Interpretation, by Jenny Stevens and Pamela Bickley (2013)
  • Women Making Shakespeare: Text, Reception and Performance, ed. by Gordon McMullan, Lena Cowen Orlin and Virginia Mason Vaughan (2013)
  • Emotional Excess on the Shakespearean Stage: Passion's Slaves, by Bridget Escolme (2013)
  • Shakespeare and YouTube: New Media Forms of the Bard, by Stephen O'Neill (2014)
  • Acting Companies and their Plays in Shakespeare's London, by Siobhan Keenan (2014)


  1. ^ Juliet Dusinberre, introduction to "As You Like It", Arden Shakespeare, Third Edition
  2. ^ General Editors' Preference, The Tempest, Arden Shakespeare, 3rd Series, 1999
  3. ^ Copyright page, "The Tempest", edited by Frank Kermode, Arden 2nd Series, 1954
  4. ^ General Preface, King Lear, The Arden Shakespeare, copyrighted 1917
  5. ^ General Editor's Preface by Una Ellis-Fermor, dated 1951, as printed in Macbeth, Arden Shakespeare, 2nd Series
  6. ^ Copyright page, "Macbeth", edited by Kenneth Muir, Arden 2nd Series, printed 1994
  7. ^ GenPref2
  8. ^ About Us, The Arden Shakespeare, A&C Black web site. Retrieved May 12, 2009.
  9. ^ See "Coriolanus", Arden Shakespeare, Third Series (published February 2013)
  10. ^
  11. ^ Preface, "Hamlet", Arden 3rd Series
  12. ^ "Hamlet, the Texts of 1603 and 1623", Arden Shakespeare, 3rd Series.
  13. ^ Addendum, "Coriolanus", Arden Shakespeare, Third Series (published February 2013)
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^

External links[edit]