Kittredge Shakespeare is a series of scholarly edited volumes of individual plays by William Shakespeare. The original series were edited by noted Shakespeare scholar George Lyman Kittredge of Harvard University. The series has been revised and updated twice in more recent years.
George Kittredge born in 1860, was nearly 80 years old when the first volumes of Kittredge Shakespeare were published in 1939. The original series included text and analysis of sixteen of Shakespeare's Plays. Kittredge, who had taught Harvard undergraduates an introductory course on Shakespeare called English 2, had written very little on the subject, other than an address in 1916 at the Sanders Theater, before publishing his Complete Works in 1936 (see below) and the individual play series, starting in 1939. The original series included an introduction to each play, text of the play, copious literary notes following the text, textual notes, and a glossary. The original series included the following volumes:
Kittredge died in July 1941 at age 81, and was working on the original series of these books until shortly before he passed. In 1945, Arthur Colby Sprague, of Bryn Mawr College, edited volumes for Henry V and The Merchant of Venice from Kittredge's explanatory notes.
Sixteen Plays of Shakespeare, with a preface by Arthur Colby Sprague, was released as a single volume in 1946. This collection includes the full introductions and all of the notes, textural notes and play glossaries found in each individual volume.
Between 1966 and 1969, all of Shakespeare's plays re reissued, revised by Irving Ribner. A new introduction by Prodessor Ribner replaced Kittredge's original introductions, and the notes were set out as footnotes to the text, rather than following the text, as was the case in the original series.
The New Kittredge
Starting in 2006 with Hamlet, a new series of single volume Shakespeare plays was released under the name The New Kitteridge. Under the general editorship of James H. Lake, the new Kittredge includes an edited version of Kittredge's original introductions, new introductions by the editors of each volume, two sets of footnotes below the text (one of literary notes, mostly from Kittredge, and a second set with a running commentary of performance and film treatments), followed by segments on ""How to Read 'the Play' as Performance", "Topics for Discussion and Further Study"; a bibliography; and a filmography.
Prior to publishing the individual plays in the individual series, Professor Kittredge issued a volume of the Complete Works of Shakespeare in 1936. As part of the Revised Series, The Complete Works was revised by Irving Ribner and reissued in 1971
- Preface to the New Kittredge Shakespeare, by Irving Ribner, published in each volume of the Second Series, 1966 to 1069
- Prologue, by Arthur Colby Sprague, to Sixteen Plays of Shakespeare, edited by George Lyman Kittredge, (c) 1946
- see, e.g. The Tragedy of King Lear, edited by George Lyman Kittredge, published by Gin and Company 1940; Twelfth Night, edited by George Lyman Kittredge, published by Gin and Company 1941; The Tragedy of King Richard II, edited by George Lyman Kittredge, published by Ginn and Company 1941
- Clyde Kenneth Hyder, George Lyman Kittredge: Teacher and Scholar (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1962), page 190
- Hyder (1962), page 184
- Hylan (1962), page 184
- Sixteen Plays of Shakespeare,, edited by George Lyman Kittredge, published by Ginn and Company, 1946
- Shakespeare Quarterly, Volume 62, No. 2, Summer 2011: The New Kittredge, by Barry Gaines
- See, e. g. The Tragedy of King Lear, edited by George Lyman Kittredge, revised by Irving Ribner, published by Ginn-Blaisdell 1967; Twelfth Night , edited by George Lyman Kittredge, revised by Irving Ribner, published by Ginn-Blaisdell 1966; The Tragedy of Julius Caesar , edited by George Lyman Kittredge, revised by Irving Ribner, published by Ginn-Blaisdell 1966